Two Rivers News

Salmon concerns spark climate education

NONIE MCCANN

 

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Organizations in and surrounding Lytton use the summer months to engage the youth of the community at large in a variety of cultural and employment-related opportunities. It is through these strategies that rural communities build resilience and sustainability for the future. One of these opportunities that has been in place for several years is the annual Youth Fish Camp, hosted by the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council. This year, the weather forced the hosts at Anderson Creek; Boston Bar Band, to postpone the event until Aug. 12, 13, 14. The Fraser River Salmon Fishery is always an important part of summer for Nlaka’pamux people, and this year’s low numbers combined with the slide above Big Bar have provided much concern for local people, for some this has meant actively engaging in learning about the effects of Climate change on our community, and what strategies we might adopt to create resilience in the community at large. Summer also means the village is host to a number of visitors, and local events that provide entertainment for all to enjoy. 

 

According to an Urban Systems report dated December, 2018, “Kanaka Bar is located in the Fraser Canyon at the midway point between Hope and Lillooet, BC, which has been the traditional territory for the community for over 7000 years. The Kanaka Bar Indian Bandhave managed and lived off the land sustainably throughout their long history. However, colonization, climate change and the rapid changes in technology and the global economy have created challenges to their traditional way of life. Today, Kanaka Bar is implementing self-sufficiency initiatives as a way of working to overcome these challenges.”

As a part of the Band’s self-sufficiency initiatives, they hosted a series of workshops at the Band Office on August 7, focussing on Solar Power 101, and Climate Change. The sessions were well attended by both Kanaka Bar residents and other members of the public. Ben Giudici, representative from Riverside Energy in Kamloops, shared information about Solar Energy, and how it works. Included in his presentation were comparisons of places in the world where solar energy is being used, as well as those with the best potential for use. Canada is one with the best potential, and currently is among the least used. The afternoon session titled Climate Change 101 was led by Aaron Coelho, a water consultant from Urban Systems’ Kamloops office. Coelho recently had the opportunity to work with Kanaka Bar on a climate change adaptation strategy to support their journey towards self-sufficiency.

“For Kanaka Bar, they recognize that there are certain vulnerabilities associated with climate change, global food trade and the expense of food and energy,” he explains.

“As a small rural community, they recognize the importance of being self-sufficient in food, energy, employment and finance.”  In fact, for all community initiatives, Kanaka Bar Indian Band always has an eye on the future in order to prepare the community for the environment and economy of tomorrow. Workshop attendees engaged in lively discussions focussing on climate change as a part of the informative presentation.

Closing the day’s sessions,Chief Patrick Michell reiterated the goal of Kanaka Bar Band to “continually work to understand it’s vulnerabilities and prepare for a community transition for the environment and economies of tomorrow.” 

In addition to those workshops, the Band also hosted a community dinner in conjunction with the Sustainable Living Leadership Project; an annual project of the Rivershed Society of BC on Aug. 10. Member of Parliament Fin Donnelly joined a number of speakers to share their perspectives on a variety of topics related to the Fraser River Watershed. The Kanaka Bar community continues to be a respected leader in self-sufficiency initiatives, and the Chief and council welcome visitors to their community: maybe it’s time for a visit? 

 

Although the 2 Rivers Remix Indigenous Music Feast is a fond memory from earlier this summer, the society continues to work in the community, hosting the annual summer Westside Starry Night Market in conjunction with the Two Rivers Farmers Market on August 13. This year’s free music at the market featured George Leech and DJ Kookum.

Local West Fraser residents and growers joined together at the Stein Hall to enjoy a warm summer evening, visiting, shopping and listening to great music. Special thanks to the sponsors of this free community event. 

 

The organizers of the Lytton River Festival, this year’s 15th annual event held on Labour Day weekend are excited to be putting the final touches on the fun-filled schedule. This year‘s festival pays tribute to one of our longtime supporters we lost in the past year. Shirley James was always a strong advocate for the River Festival.  Her joy and enthusiasm radiated through her smile and laughter. For many years Shirley contributed to our Sunday mini powwow. She was always happy, cheerful and ready to assist during the events in whatever way she was needed. Shirley loved River Festival and looked forward to seeing her many friends.  She loved the evening music and dancing to the bands. We surely miss this gentle and kind spirit and hope she looks down on this year’s celebration with happiness.The festival will have familiar hometown favorites, including two live bands for the Friday night street dance, the ever-popular Ritchie and the Fendermen on Saturday evening, and the famous Artisan Fair featuring local artisans on Sunday. Returning by popular demand are the Dog Show on Sunday, the Local Talent performers on Saturday afternoon, and of course the Chicken Poop Bingo! The organizers are excited to announce that Don Burnstick will be performing his famous Family Comedy Show on Sunday afternoon, wrapping up the Festival with a few good belly-laughs. Festival events are posted on the website: riverfestival.ca, Lytton River Festival Facebook page, posters, and brochures available at the Village Visitors Centre, and other local businesses. Bring the whole family for a weekend of fun times in small town BC. Local businesses will be offering specials all weekend long, as well.

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