Charles Sellars

Xat’sull Heritage Village celebrates

Xat’sull Heritage Village hosted a cultural event Sunday which included greeting the Rivershed Society team.

Xat’sull Heritage Village hosted a cultural event Sunday which included greeting the Rivershed Society team travelling the length of the Fraser River to raise awareness on environmental protection.

About 80 participants took part in traditional cultural activities such as story telling, guided tours of the village, workshops and traditional local food.

Before events got underway guests were treated to lunch featuring Musqueam salmon.

“We had some great activities throughout the afternoon,” said Miriam Schilling Xat’sull Community Economic Development Coordinator.

“Richard Duncan did some drumming, singing and story telling in our traditional pit house.

“We did a pit cooking demonstration shortly after the lunch and then had Crystal Williams teach a dreamcatcher workshop.”

Schilling said Duncan and Canim Band Chief Mike Archie taught guests how to play lehal  and it was a great afternoon enjoyed by a group of people from Soda Creek, Williams Lake and region as well as international visitors from France, Germany and Korea.

Before the event started the gorgeous setting featuring traditional pit-houses and teepees along the banks of the Fraser River played host to a meeting with local and provincial First Nations dignitaries regarding the Mount Polley tailings spill.

Among the Rivershed team is NDP New Westminster-Coquitlam MP Fin Donnelly. A major environmental critic, Donnelly has been raising public awareness of rivers in B.C. for years and in 1995 he swam the length of the Fraser River.

“It was great to have Fin Donnelly and the Rivershed Society attend the event and also be able to speak with the media who attended our event,” Schilling said. “Protecting the watersheds seems more important than ever.”

The not-for-profit Rivershed team — consisting of members from across B.C. — were on day 12 of a 25 day Sustainable Living Leadership Program expedition when they reached Xat’sull Sunday.

The journey will see them travelling by canoe, raft, shuttle van and foot to cover the 1,400 km trip down the river to Vancouver.

Orden Mack of Williams Lake is one of five young sustainability leaders from around B.C. participating in this summer’s raft adventure down the Fraser River. Along the way participants learn about sustainable living and responsible community and resource development, while immersed in the ever-changing scenery of the Fraser River.

During their journey, the participants will also design a sustainability project to implement in their home communities upon their return.

Mack will document the trip and work with the Moccasin Footprint Society to educate people about the positive contributions of Aboriginal people.

The crew started the journey from the Fraser River basin at Mount Robson and canoed three days to McBride prior to driving their shuttle van to Soda Creek to participate  in the Xat’sull cultural event Sunday.

After their Xat’sulll visit the team was scheduled to visit Potato House in Williams Lake and participated in a DFO juvenile fish net demonstration at Sheep Creek Bridge before continuing their journey down the Fraser River.

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