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Youth Centre opens in Skdidegate

Young People's Precious House opened with fanfare last Friday in Skidegate.The long-awaited youth centre's name in Haida is Hiit'agan.iina Kuuyas Naay or Young People's Precious House. The name was given by the elders at the Skidegate Haida Immersion Program. Skidegate Youth Council Members repeated the name three times after elders Jackie Casey and Betty Richardson announced it at the ceremony on September 16. Soon after, youth council president Desi Collison, Skidegate chief councillor Bob Mills, Gwaii Trust rep Shelley Sansome and the CHN's Percy Crosby cut the ribbon to open the facility.Once the doors were open, people crowded in to see the wonderful work done by local contractors and try out amenities like the reclining chairs and the big screen television.Youth councillors, who had arrived at the Skidegate site by Haida canoe, acknowledged Rose Russ as a driving force behind the youth council and the centre and Kris Olsen as the long-time volunteer coordinator of the youth centre in Queen Charlotte. Youth council vice-president Jason Alsop said they'd checked their minutes since inception and found that Mr. Olsen's name had come up 83 times, indicating how instrumental he has been in working with youth.