Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition

Skeena Swim Blog

Thursday, August 06: Chris calls from Kitwanga

[Transmitted by satellite phone]

Listen to the audio file of Chris’ blog entry.

Hello, this is Chris calling from the banks of the Skeena River. We were sent off this morning by our hosts from Gitsegukla. The singing and drumming that accompanied us as we headed down ther river was both powerful and inspirational. The people of Gitsegukla are clearly committed to preserving the health of their river. Many of the local young people came out to see us off as well. Our journey to Kitwanga was short but beautiful; we spent much of our day staring at the mountains and watching salmon move up the river. The Kitwanga people welcomed us with a wonderful meal and spectacular greeting. We all felt very welcome to be here. The value of the river to the people I met today is truly beyond measure. Thank you very much. Ali is continuing to amaze us all. We’re having a great night. Bye for now.

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Posted by Kellie Nyce  on  08/07  at  12:52 PM

I wish Ali and the crew a safe journey for the rest of her swim.  I think what Ali is doing is so amazing.  She must have incredible strength and determination. 

You are right the value of the Skeena river to the Gitxsan people is beyond words.  We depend on the salmon to sustain us.  It is a huge part of our culture. 

For her to follow the salmon route to the Pacific Ocean is something spectacular.  It gives you a perspective on how the salmon do it every year and then they come back to spawn.  Good luck and may God keep all of you out of harms way.

Posted by Amelia Shanoss  on  08/07  at  01:17 PM

Well Ali hope you have a safe trip, I so admire you so much for doing this for our Skeena River. Well take care and hope to hear from you soon.

Posted by Doug Donaldson  on  08/07  at  05:56 PM

Well done to all of you as you pass through the Gitxsan territories and continue the adventure further downstream.  It was a privilege to swim in the river with Ali and to be accompanied by such a competent, professional support crew.  The positive energy was incredible.  It is what we will need as we move forward on the momentum you continue to build as we all work towards ensuring the health of the Skeena system today, tomorrow and for generations to come.

Posted by Liz Williams  on  08/07  at  07:28 PM

Safe journey! We stopped by the river across from insect creek last night to see you all camped by the river and your fire. I was hollaring then i was like..hey i forgot they have a zoom in high powered camera! I hope they didnt get us hollaring. lol…Anyways, I am so blessed to have met you all and to witness history in the making

Posted by Pea-Squared  on  08/08  at  09:48 PM

Hey guys, just a short note to tell you that this evening Chloe (almost 4) and Wren (‘bout 1.5) were splashing all around the bath tub “swimming the Skeena River”. Water everywhere. Looked like solid Class 4. You just never know how your actions will inspire others and clearly you’ve all made a huge impression on my little bambinas.

A side note: Taylor caught some excellent footage of the boys on East Boulder, including a wildman in a kilt counting fish in the slot, presumably inspired by Ali. I would laugh, except I’ve counted fish in the same spot a few years back.

I hope you liked the tortillas, made with love.

You fill our hearts. See you in Port Ed.

P-squared, Chloe and Wren

Posted by AJ  on  08/09  at  10:44 AM

This is inspirational.  I’m so glad to learn about Ali and her team and this tremendous undertaking.  WAY TO GO!  I’ll keep following your progress to the ocean.  Don’t give up, keep working to conserve this beautiful part of the world.  Swim hard!

Posted by Bonnie  on  08/09  at  12:23 PM

I hope you guys have reached Terrace safely.  This weekend’s itinerary looks especially gruelling.  Look after each other.  Hold hands.  Hug.

Posted by Audrey  on  08/09  at  02:55 PM

Having just returned from a trip up the Cassiar, I am in awe of all that has happened along your journey.  We crossed the Skeena at Kitwanga just hours after you swam west.  I know this swim will inspire people to care for all the rivers, streams, lakes, land, etc. that make up the watersheds throughout this beautiful province!  Audrey, Marin and Calum McKinnon smile

Posted by Sonja Ostertag  on  08/09  at  03:06 PM

Hi Ali, Chris and the rest of the Swim Team! It was a powerful, moving experience to join you for a couple of days and I can’t stop talking with my friends and family about the amazing journey that you guys are on. It is a journey that has inspired me and I am sure everyone else who has had the pleasure of participating in real life or via the web.

Thank you for doing this - I think it is especially meaningful at a time when there are many terrible things happening in the world that you’re out on the Skeena, bringing communities together for something so positive and inspiring.

It looks like the next few days will be long days in/on the river and I wish you the best of luck. I know that you have the strength and courage to complete this journey!

All the best,