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REPORTING · 26th May 2010
Walter McFarlane
The Eagle Centre hosted the voyage of Ali Howard: “Awakening the Skeena” on Sunday May 16th. The turnout was small. Gerald Amos of the Kitamaat Village Council welcomed everyone to watch the Film. He referred to both himself and Ali Howard, in her endeavour as “Citizens of the World.”

Amos also wished to share with those present: he had recently came from a boating trip on the Douglas Channel with his son. “I want to share that with you because, many of you, that live here in Kitimat, understand that. Understand that this world of ours is more than magnified jobs and all that stuff, all the material stuff. Its about more than that. It’s about our future. It’s about what these little ones are going to have left. To make decisions about. We must leave them choices. And I think that as grandparents and as parents, I think that’s the ultimate responsibility and again, it is what people like Ali Howard attempt, I think. To get people to think about, to have conversations about,” said Amos.

He suggested this was about getting people talking and building relationships. “In a town like Kitimat, a relatively new town and a new economy that has developed here: If we can’t get it right. If we can’t develop relationships that change the way we think about each other and about the way we treat the earth. I don’t know the rest of the world has a chance. We have to get it right. We have to do something to change the way we view our responsibilities to one another and to the earth,” said Amos.

He also stated he spent the evening with Norm Hann’s paddleboard expedition, Stand Up For Great Bear on his first night out. Hann is from Squamish British Columbia but has worked as a guide out of Hartley Bay and has been adopted by the Gitga'at Nation. He compared Hann to Howard and said he was returning to Kitamaat Village on the 29th of May for the Solidarity Gathering of Nations. He welcomed everyone to Haisla Territory.

Shannon McPhail of the Skeena Watershed Coalition took the microphone next and talked about Hann traveling with three pods of whales and Brian Huntington, who was traveling with Hann also went with them on Howard’s swim.

McPhail introduced the film and would later explain her history. The film itself was the story of the swim, the beautiful country of British Columbia and the message opposing the drilling of coal bed methane in the sacred headwaters. It also shows how people are capable of making a stand and uniting communities.

The film is well worth watching.

McPhail also presented to Council on January 28th, 2008.