Letter from Nexwsxwníw̓ntm ta Úxwumixw (Council) – Public Safety

Dear Squamish People,

On Saturday, May 14, in X̱wemelch’stn (Capilano Reserve), three people were arrested following a shooting on Capilano Reserve in West Vancouver. The shooting took place on the 200 block of Ikwikws Rd.  

Harry William Nahanee, 33, of Vancouver, has been charged with one count of discharging a firearm with intent to wound, one count of recklessly discharging a firearm, and one count of possession of a loaded prohibited or restricted firearm without authorization. Nahanee remains in custody pending his next court appearance on May 19 at 2:00 pm. Nahanee and the victim were known to each other. A 33-year-old female from North Vancouver was arrested and released on conditions related to a firearms offence with a court appearance in June. The third person was released without charges, pending further investigation. According to local law enforcement, there is no continuing threat to the community’s safety. 

This incident was a reckless act in complete disregard for people’s safety. This act of violence has no place in our community. We condemn these actions and those who are responsible. We are listening to you and taking immediate action to prevent further threats to our community’s safety. 

Current Activities and Future Actions 

Council and administration are focusing on establishing an integrated approach to community safety. Our goal is to use prevention strategies, advocacy and education and develop tools to enforce our standards as a Nation.  

In the past three months, Council instructed our administration to explore the creation of a new department focused on community safety with a dedicated staff and leadership. In April, Council allocated funding for this new department, and our administration will work hard to create it. Along with this new department, we recognize that our needs have grown, and we may need to explore the creation of our own law enforcement body, much like other First Nations in Canada. In addition, the Nation sees the need for enforceable bylaws and systems to support them. 

The Nation is aware of households that continue to pose a significant risk to the safety and wellbeing of our community. For the past eight weeks, Council and administration have been exploring revoking a Member’s rights to use and occupy a house allocated under the Housing Policy. This is a significant enforcement tool. We hope our community will support us taking this step to prevent further risks to our people. 

In the coming weeks, the following actions will be taken:  

  • Increased police patrols and visibility in X̱wemelch’stn.   
  • Potentially revoke house allocations and forcibly evict inhabitants where the household poses a significant risk to the health, safety, and wellbeing of our community. 
  • Move forward with establishing a new department focused on community and public safety.  
  • Develop teams to explore and recommend all short, medium, and long-term actions we can take to address public safety.   

Like many First Nations, our Nation faces significant challenges with our people’s alcohol and substance abuse. Our departments will continue to support our people who can reach out to get help. We are also keenly aware of suspected criminal activity such as drug trafficking and those who choose to engage in these activities in our homes and neighbourhoods. Previous attempts to address drug trafficking in our community often did not meet our desired outcome.  

We remain committed to exploring, developing, and implementing tools that will create permanent lasting changes. We all deserve to feel safe and secure in our own homes and neighbourhoods.  The problems we face are complex and complicated, but we want to work together to create the community we all need and deserve. 

Wa cht estétx̱w sḵwáwncht kwis kwíyin̓tsut i tkwi úxwumixwcht. An cht a kw’enmántumiwit. 

(We are determined to take action in our community. We really thank you for your attention to this matter.) 

Squamish Nation Chairperson & Council 


Council Chairperson


Ann Whonnock
Spokesperson & General Councillor


Wilson Williams
Spokesperson & General Councillor


Stewart Gonzales
General Councillor


Shayla Jacobs
North Shore Councillor


Kristen Rivers
Regional Councillor

Joyce Williams

Squamish Valley Councillor