Honouring our waterways

While driving to or from Hudson’s Hope this week, keep an eye out by the Halfway River Bridge for a group of people staging a camp-in to save the Peace River. A group of young Indigenous people have organized a camp where the Halfway River meets the Peace River, with the hope of saving the waterway from the proposed Site C dam.

However, organizer Helen Knott says this movement is not a protest; it’s about honouring the land and water in the area.

“It’s not really protesting,” she explains. “It’s about being out here and using the land. As indigenous people, it’s your inherent right to practice your rights on your territories and saying there’s a lot of people here who use the land and we want to keep it that way.”

This afternoon, after painting t-shirts and banners, a group of children were playing in the mud along the banks of the two rivers. Many of the activities this week have been planned with children in mind, including a photo project that has them taking pictures of wildlife and things they find moving or pretty, which will be printed out and have stories written to go with them. Knott says it’s important to include children in events like these, to learn about the importance of the world around them.

“Our children deserve to admire the land and the water the way that it is,” she says. “It’s just good to have them out here, and teach them to have a voice and to be a part of something.”

Local Author Christy Jordan-Fenton, who will be hosting a writing workshop on Saturday, brought her children down to spend the day at the river. She says the inclusion of children is what brought her to the event, as they represent the future of the area.

“My family, we spend a lot of time on the river, like a day or two a week, so the kids care a lot about it,” she says. “They definitely know about it and what’s going on. They get it pretty well; I think they get it better than adults. They just know this is the land and this is the way it should be and they don’t have any other motives.”

A communal dinner will be held tonight, and the group will go for a hike in the area tomorrow. All those who love the Peace River are invited to join.

For more information on the event, click here.

Erica Fisher