Haida Gwaii welcomes Hope in the Darkness

Campbell met with youth in Port Clements, accompanied by local RCMP Constable Joshua Smith, left. (Submitted)

Holding a Sangan River walking stick, Bob Campbell set out from Old Massett last week to start the western half of Hope in the Darkness.

Co-led by Campbell and fellow Anishinabek Police Service Sergeant Kevin Redsky, the cross-Canada walk aims to highlight the need for better youth mental health supports.

Having worked for 33 years as an officer in Peterborough, Ontario, Campbell said he knows police have a key role to play.

“We do very little criminal work anymore,” Campbell said, having walked from Old Massett to Queen Charlotte.

“I mean, we have that, but I tell you, a big, big portion is mental health. And police, we’re not trained as well as some people. We’ve got to understand this, and the people that are suffering so that we can learn.”

Campbell spoke at both Haida Gwaii high schools, Port Clements Elementary, and was welcomed to a community dinner at the Skidegate Small Hall before setting out on the Highway of Tears to Terrace and then starting along Highway 1 from Vancouver.

“It’s a blessing to be here,” Campbell said of his time on Haida Gwaii, where Josh Davidson carved his walking stick and others signed it along the way.

“We want to try and connect with as many youth as we can,” he said.

“We want to make sure our future is protected.”


Michael Hull, Bob Campbell, and Laura Williams take the first steps of the western half of Hope in the Darkness. The western half of the cross-Canada walk for youth mental health will eventually head all the way from Old Massett to Winnipeg. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)

(Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)

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