Fifteen lucky students heading south

  • May. 4, 2011 11:00 a.m.

Fifteen young people from across the islands will head to Lyell Island next week, some on their first trip to Gwaii Haanas ever, to partake in a unique natural and cultural history adventure. Grade 4 to Grade 11 students, chosen by random draw from each of the islands’ schools, will be learning about salmon life cycles, stream restoration along with the cultural events at Lyell Island that led to the creation of the national park reserve and Haida heritage site. The day includes a trip by zodiac to Lyell Island. Jamal Issa, a Grade 7 student at Port Clements Elementary, said he knew he had a good chance to win a spot on the trip. “Only six people put in their names,” he told the Observer by telephone. His was the first one picked. Young Mr. Issa has never been to Gwaii Haanas before, nor on a zodiac, both exciting new experiences for the 13 year-old. He’s also keen to see big trees and the longhouse at Windy Bay, which is one of the stops on the action-packed trip. “It’s going to be cool,” he said. Gwaii Haanas external relations manager Terrie Dionne said the trip is a partnership between the park reserve and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). Ms Dionne said that DFO’s Stream to Sea education program is a longstanding part of Grade 4 classroom experiences, in which students raise fish fry in tanks and release them into local streams. This year, eggs were taken from streams on Lyell Island. They were incubated in tanks at Sk’aadgaa Naay and GM Dawson and the fry will head down to Lyell Island as well so students can release them while there. The fish are travelling separately in a plane, she said, because they must get their quickly. Ms Dionne said this new pilot project, (which will run for three years) allows Gwaii Haanas to piggyback some of these stewardship ideas with others on Lyell Island. “This day long adventure will provide youth with a hands on opportunity to connect the idea of being a future steward of these islands with the efforts being made by Gwaii Haanas to restore logging damaged streams,” she said. As well, Haida president Guujaaw will be at Windy Bay to tell stories about the protests on Lyell Island that stopped the logging and led to the creation of Gwaii Haanas. Students will each be given a video camera for the trip so they can document their experiences, Ms Dionne said. She said the footage will be made into a montage and students will be expected to do a presentation to their schools after the trip. As well, a larger community event will be held. Ms Dionne said there are one to three children per school going on the trip and lots more disappointed ones. Six chaperones will also attend. Here is a list of the lucky students: Jordan Stewart-Burton (GMD – Grade 11) Chloe Good (GMD – Grade 9) Mary-Jane Edgars (Tahayghen – Grade 4) Jack Nychyporuk (Tahayghen – Grade 6) Markus Carty (Chief Matthews – Grade 4) Amelia Rea (Chief Matthews – Grade 4) Jamal Issa (Port Clements – Grade 7) Megan Adams (Port Clements – Grade 7) Niisii Guujaw (Queen Charlotte Secondary – Grade 11) Cole Sankey (Sk’aadgaa Naay – Grade 7) Amber Yeltatzie (Sk’aadgaa Naay – Grade 6) Droughen Moseley (Sk’aadgaa Naay – Grade 7) Morgan Chisholm (Living and Learning – Grade 5) Christine Salanski (ALM – Grade 5).Copyright 2011 Haida Gwaii OBSERVER

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