Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition

Skeena Swim Blog

Monday, August 03: Ali: “It feels like there’s a new start to the trip now

Listen to the audio file of Ali’s blog entry

Hi Friends of Skeena Swim 2009,

It’s Ali calling with a blog from Old Hazelton for August 3rd.

Our day started at Don and Stanita Messier’s who had shown us incredible hospitality overnight, and we floated on to Kispiox village where Roy Henry Vickers led us and 50-odd paddlers who had come to join us in a wonderful song, a paddler’s song, that really set the rhythm tone for the day — I know it was in all of our heads.

We had a wonderful reception at Kispiox Village before we were sent off for Sikh-e-dakh (Glen Vowell) where we had an incredibly proud and warm welcome from Amy and the other elders. There was druming that stirred all of our hearts and souls, and I won’t forget.

We continued on under 4 Mile Bridge where there were legions of people lined up to cheer and wish us well. And on down to Cedar Creek where we met Doug Donaldson (MLA) and Nathan Cullen (MP) who threw their support in by swimming with us on to Ksan.

Before we left Cedar Creek we sang happy birthday to Jim Allen, our original trip leader on the upper Skeena and an incredible contributor to the swim and to the cause.

Finally we rounded in to Old Hazelton and the streets were lined with people — people on top of China Hill honking and cheering — it’s something I won’t forget.

We had an incredible reception and the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en communities showed incredible hospitality and generosity and shared stories of their pride in the watershed. I would like to thank everybody that came out and participated.

It was our original hope for the swim to get people out celebrating with us — celebrating their watershed. And I hope people continue to celebrate it every day and realize what an incredible place they live in.

It feels like there’s a new start to the trip now. We have miles to go and now we’re in the lower half where we’re bringing our story down to the people, to the residents, of the watershed.

Tonight we’ll be in Gitsegukla and I’m excited about what we’ll see there.

Take care. Thanks very much. Bye!

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Posted by Lori Merrill NWW  on  08/04  at  07:31 PM

Great to hear about your sharing of song, words and hearts upstream!!!
Downstream we are getting excited and gathering ideas and plans
in anticipation of your arrival at our shores!!!

Way to go Ali and Team!! Swim on!!

Posted by castingoutloud  on  08/04  at  07:54 PM

Glad to see the swim picking up some steam as the river gets bigger all join into one. Great work an inspiration. No excuses, keep swimming.

Posted by alex an jim howard  on  08/05  at  08:12 AM

Well what a day the Howard’s had.  Jim and Chris in the war canoes and Alex making like the Queen, on a raft, heading for Hazelton.  Very proud parents.  The Skeena is magnificent and we were so fortunate to be a part of the day.  Thanks to the team for allowing us to be truly a part of the day.  We expected to be on the bridge at Hazelton, instead we were down below watching the spectacle of people yelling, honking, wishing Ali and the team their best.  Again, dziekuje bardzo.  xoxo

Posted by Jennifer Hegan  on  08/06  at  09:49 AM

Heh Ali
We are trying to keep up with the excitement and challenge of your journey through Moni and family
I am so happy to see your family be with you. Fiona is very concerned for you and I tell her you are being very well taken care of. You are a role model for taking on ‘calculated’ challenges and for being part of a larger message for everybody. Fiona, Hardy, the Christy gang are all learning from you.
We hope to see you and family in Port Ed
Jen Eamon Fiona and Hardy

Posted by Kylie Van Horne  on  08/06  at  09:53 AM

Wow!! Amazing to hear of so much support, and to see you up talking to a crowd. You seem to be perfect for it. I guess my knowing of you was pretty limited. 
I’m glad it’s going to well!! Cheers and well wishes from Edmonton. If my heart can be warmed just by reading in over the internet, oh what a feeling it must be in the communities you’re passing through!!
Keep it up Ali and team.

Posted by Tara  on  08/08  at  09:29 AM

Wow Ali,
After attending the Ksan greeting and gathiering, and checking in here, i feel speechless, yet compelled to write something to you and the team.  Tears well up in my eyes, as i feel how powerful this iniative is. My heart sweels listening to your words. I honor your courage and determination. There is so much power in your message of imagination and sharing - Thank you for everything you are doing and saying. You are beautiful. Tara