Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition

Skeena Swim Blog

Saturday, August 01: Kayaker Kim talks about Youth On Water and the importance of taking care of the Skeena

[Transmitted by satellite phone]

“>Listen to the audio file of Kim’s blog entry.

Hi, this is Kayaker Kim calling in from the river bank of the Skeena River below Cigarette Corner. Today we left the confluence of the Babine and the Skeena River.

We were joined by the Youth On Water (YOW) crew, which was probably on of my highlights of the trip. I can see the huge smiles and wide open eyes of the young people who are living and working in this watershed. I overheard one of the young guys comment “wow, man, I’m nervous paddling down these rapids and Ali has to swim through them!” It’s truly amazing to share our experiences with these young teenagers, and you can see the excitement on their faces; they’re just so happy to be part of what we’re doing here on the Skeena Swim.

Today our crew could see the familiar sights of the local mountains. The Skeena ranges and the Tomlinsons. As well, we’re very close to that wild bush fire that’s happening here in the Valley. As I sit here on the riverbank I can see the huge smoke clouds billowing over the river.

I really hope our trip is inspiring everyone in and around the Skeena Watershed to become true caretakers of this land and water. And I encourage everyone to have a good look at the sources of three of the greatest rivers in Canada: the Nass, the Stikine and the Skeena.

I’m so happy to have joined this group and unfortunately I’m leaving the group in Hazelton. It was a life-changing experience and I hope so many more people after us can enjoy this area.

That’s all for now. Thanks for all the support everybody — our family and friends along the way. We look forward to seeing everyone soon in Hazelton (Monday). Bye!

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Posted by Sheila Peters  on  08/03  at  12:43 PM

Hi guys,
I’ve been thinking a lot after watching that beautiful video of Ali setting out from the headwaters - here’s a poem for all you children on the river: It’s called Skookum Wawa which means Strong Talk…

tiered tree line
green meadows
spring grizzly grazing
in water welling through rooted sedges.
Water waiting
wandering meanders
until flatness finally falls
falls in three directions.
Water becoming
becoming Spatsizi becoming Stikine becoming Tahltan
becoming Nass becoming Nisga’a
becoming Skeena becoming Gitxsan becoming Tsimshian
the ancient submerged heart pumping
  life into this land.

Bright children leap laughing
to fall to follow
to trace in faith one great artery on its way
into the wide arms
of the salt chuck.
Chinook talk
their talk
skookum wawa.

Posted by Lynne Dunford  on  08/04  at  08:10 AM

Hi Ali,  I have been watching your swim.  Wow! is all I can say. My friends were talking about this girl that was swimming the Skeena that they saw on the news.  They were impressed and thought you were a little nuts. LOL They didn’t realize that you were my cousin.  I am very proud of you and have been bragging about you every chance I get.  I think you are doing a wonderful thing.  You go girl!! Be Safe.  Say hi to Aunt Alex and Uncle Vaughn when they get there. Chris too! Sending love and hugs to all of you. Your cousin Lynne xxoo

Posted by Breeann  on  08/04  at  12:41 PM

Can’t believe we are missing you guys!  Talked to Chris Gee last night who was at home having a shower and visiting his girlfriend for a night….we are living the blog posts, the videos and photos!  Wish we were ‘groovin’ with you guys, but please know, we are feeling it all the way down here!  Stay safe and strong, you guys are making history before our very eyes!  Get the Shell out!