Youth Days a huge success!
Our first ever Madii Lii Youth Days blew our expectations out of the water. Over 600 youth, family, and friends came out to the territory to connect with the land, to share in our cultural activities, and to learn about the risks of LNG pipelines and terminals to our land, water, and salmon.
The sounds of children giggling and laughing as they frolicked about on the territory filled the weekend, as did shared stories of how we once gathered to share the songs, legends, & the simple pleasures of acknowledging our very existance in one anothers lives.We are so thankful for such a supportive community!
Held on May 2 and 3, 2015, youth and families from every single Gitxsan community - Gitanmaax, Kispiox, Gitsegukla, Kiwanga, Gitanyow, Hagwilget, and Glen Vowell - came together to take part in many activites, performances, workshops, and demonstrations. The entire nation was united in peace and celebration of our collective Lax Yip (land and resources), and the energy was exhilerating.
The language, culture, and the voices of many harmonized their wishes and desires to protect mother earth and all that sustains us through her valleys, rivers, creeks, forests, animals and plants.
Just under 300 people were taken on helicopter tours of Madii Lii territory, including over the proposed TransCanada PRGT fracked gas pipeline route and everything it threatens. More of our people than ever before were able to see from a whole new angle the beautiful alpines, forested valley bottoms, waterways that make up our rivers and how it is all connected. Sightings included black bear, mountain goats, and a spring grizzly. The smiles were huge. This type of connection is a memorable one that our young people will not forget.
- Devil's Club harvesting,
- Medicine pouch making,
- Bannock making,
- Soap berry ice cream making,
- Helicopter tours of the territory
- Fly fishing lessons,
- Hide tanning workshop,
- Button-blanket workshop,
- T-shirt silk screening
- Workshop on salmon and LNG pipelines and terminals
- Performances by
the 'Ksan Performing Arts Dancers and the Gitanyow and Gitsegukla Dancers.
Huge thanks to Quantum Helicopters, to all the Bands and youth workers for partnering with us on this, to all the workshop volutneers, to the Dancers, and all the family and friends who came out and helped us make this special event happen. The breath that we breathe cannot be taken for granted.
We are not going anywhere and we plan to make this an annual event!
We are all standing together in this, and we intend to stay here to defned our vibrant culture, or salmon, and our land. Discussions on the proposed pipelines are happening in all the Gitxsan communities. We are one with our mother earth and all that it is. We are all connected to one another, family and friends, and all that we are grateful for.
We are already planning more youth activiities on Madii Lii for this summer, such as white water rafting and rock climbing, as well as food harvesting, trail clearing, and more. Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for details.
One of the parents who came with their kids said: "Every house, clan, nation should be doing this. Getting back to the land, passing down knowledge, and gathering on the territory. We had a great time at MADII 'LII CAMP today, first time for all of us. We enjoyed a helecopter ride around some of their territory. We also learned about some traditional medicine, Ez made a couple medicine bags, and we learned about tanning hides too. It was great to see so many first nations children and youth there learning too, and we were happy to be guests in their territory."
Learning about the risk of the Petronas LNG terminal on Lelu island to all the salmon in the watershed.
'Ksan Performing Arts Dancers
Nearly 300 people got to partake in a helicopter tour of Madii Lii Territory and the proposed TransCanada PRGT pipeline route.