CABINS FOR CONSERVATION IN NORTHERN B.C.
Organization: Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition (SWCC)
Based in: Hazelton, B.C.
Project: Building Cabins in Northern B.C.
Fundraising goal: $50,000
The SSC is working with the SWCC to raise $50,000 to build two cabins in strategic wilderness locations in the Skeena Watershed that will help to strengthen First Nations’ culture, demonstrate use and occupancy of their traditional territories, and assertion of Aboriginal rights, which in turn can prevent unsustainable industrial resource development proposals.
The SSC is supporting the SWCC’s work to protect ecosystems and uphold and strengthen rural and cultural diversity in Northern B.C. The SWCC has a 10-year history of working with First Nations in the Skeena watershed and Sacred Headwaters regions, as well as with and in rural Northern B.C. communities more generally.
Their work includes: innovative information campaigns related to unsustainable development in the region; a diverse array of youth capacity building and cultural initiatives; work with stakeholders to develop long-term stewardship plans for the Skeena Watershed; and other initiatives aimed at celebrating the region and supporting sustainable communities and economies in rural Northern B.C.
The SSC will be partnering with the SWCC in their effort to provide mechanisms for First Nations to spend time out on the land and engage in variety of community, cultural, educational, and research based activities.
By building cabins in strategic locations in Northern B.C. SWCC has facilitated and achieved a number of objectives working in conjunction with local First Nations. Some of these achievements include:
Demonstrated use and occupancy of territories and assertion of Aboriginal rights. In some cases to prevent unsustainable development proposals (e.g. pipelines, open pit gold mines, etc.).
Capacity building associated with planning for and building cabins in the remote locations.
Youth traditional skills and leadership development and engagement in cultural activities. By spending time out on the land working with elders and peers youth are learning the ways of their ancestors and becoming stewards of their traditional territories.
Traditional Use Studies in remote locations. These studies have further strengthened First Nations claim over their territories, their relationship to the lands and waters, and their connection to their ancestors.
Reinvigorating First Nations decision making protocols related to the lands and waters.
Land use plans that are culturally appropriate and respect the ecological integrity of the region and support the protection of critically important regions in Northern B.C.