The Maaqutusiis Hahoulthee Stewardship Society (MHSS) and the Ahous Business Corporation (ABC) were incorporated by the Ahousaht Hawiih, Chief & Council and advisors in 2012 to ensure that the Ahousaht Nation once again retained control over decisions for and about economic development in Ahousaht territories, and to ensure that all development activities:
The role of the Society is to exercise stewardship and sustainable management of Ahousaht territorial resources in a way that balances Ahousaht cultural values, ecological integrity, and the social and economic wellbeing of Ahousaht people.
The fundamental guiding principles of our sovereignty are Iisʔaḱstaƛ (respecting one another), Haaḥuupstaƛ (teaching one another), Ya?akstaƛ (caring for one another), and Huupiił’aƛ (helping one another)
The Hawiih of Ahousaht declare sovereignty over Ahousaht Hahoulthee (traditional territorial lands, waters and resources) on behalf of the Ahousaht muschim.
The Maaqutusiis Hahoulthee Stewardship Society is responsible for managing economic development of all resources within the Hahoulthee for the benefit of Ahousaht muschim, and this will be done in a manner that is open, transparent, equitable and accountable to all Ahousaht.
The Ahousaht Hahoulthee Declaration states that the Hawiih of Ahousaht declare sovereignty over Ahousaht Hahoulthee (traditional territorial lands, waters and recources) on behalf of the Ahousaht Muschim (people). With that intention in mind,
in October 2012 at Quiaht Bay, the Hawiih and their Advisors with Chief and Council of Ahousaht formed the Maaqutusiis Hahoulthee Stewardship Society to manage economic development of all resources within the Hahoulthee of the Hawiih for the benefit of the Ahousaht Muschim with Iisaak (a sacred respect) and the vision of Heshook-ish Tsawalk (that everything is one).
The Maaqutusiis Hahoulthee Stewardship Society (MHSS) is a non-profit organization that manages the lands, resources and economic opportunity within the territory of the Ahousaht Nation. MHSS is incorporated under the Society Act which requires that members be named and are empowered to direct the governance and operations of the organization.
The Members of the MHSS are established in the by-laws and are identified as those persons, or their appointees, who from time to time, hold the Hawiih titles within the respective Houses of the Klakishpeelth, Klaphiyichist, and Zuchpeelth. Membership is not transferable. There are no shares that can be transferred or sold. The Members must uphold the constitution and comply with the by-laws and policies of the Society.
There is an Advisory Committee that will meet bi-annually (twice per year) to provide input and oversight to the operations of the MHSS. The Advisory Committee will be made up of the Hawiih from the amalgamated Ahousaht Nations, and representatives from Council, Education, Health and membership including a youth representative, to ensure that operations of the corporations under the Society are aligned to Ahousaht values and priorities.
Under the MHSS there are for-profit corporations that manage the day to day operations of the business. At this time there are three corporations under MHSS. There is the Maaqutusiis Hahoulthee Stewardship Holdings Incorporation (MHSHI), responsible for the development and management of the Matsquiaht property. There is the Ahous Business Corporation (ABC), responsible for all economic development projects outside of Matsquiaht, and the day to day operations and administration of MHSS. Finally, there is the Maaqutusiis Hahoulthee Forestry Corporation (MHFC), responsible for forestry operations on tenures and lands managed by Ahousaht.
One of the most important purposes of MHSS is to manage Ahousaht’s OSR (Own Source Revenue) to minimize the effect of the Government of Canada’s policy that reduces the amount that is paid by the Government to that First Nation for programs and services.
The legal counsel was retained to assist in establishing a structure for Ahousaht enterprises that:
The recommended structure has been implemented by the creation of MHSS, as follows: