Youth On Water

 

The Future is YOW!

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Did you know that the wasted wood from a single logging slash pile could be converted to the energy needed to run 15 homes for a year?

Have you ever considered what "food sovereignty" means, and what it would take to get there? Do you look at the state of housing and wonder how we can build safe, efficient, culturally-appropriate homes in the North? Could you imagine any of this contributing to building a resilient local economy, an invested, connected and engaged community, or a truly protected watershed?

 

Skeena Energy Solutions is a grass-roots initiative aimed at supporting Northern communities’ exploration of Energy, Food and Shelter security. What if we could generate those three essentials right here at home, in our own region, communities, or back yards?

SES was launched in 2013 as a result of several proposals for gas and oil pipelines that would put our wild salmon economy at risk. SWCC was opposing bad development, but we wanted to go further. We wanted to propose good development: projects and initiatives in our region that meet a triple bottom line of economic viability, social justice and environmental responsibility. We don’t just want jobs in our region; we want meaningful work built off a foundation of our shared values.

We have done feasibility studies on biomass heating and power generation, we have tested and workshopped solar PV for residential rooftops, and researched plastic-to-oil conversion to see if any of these are good fits for our community. We also supported the building of two community greenhouses in our area, and in 2018 partnered with Gitwangak Hereditary Chiefs to develop a 2 acre community market garden. We are now engaging and partnering with other groups and non-profits who align with our Northern needs and values to adapt and test more solutions that we want to develop here.

 

Get Connected!

EDUCATION. Participants are introduced to swift water rescue training and they get to practice their new skills on every raft trip. The youth learn river and rafting skills that not only teach them how to be safe in moving water, but also help them build their skills to gain employment in the rafting or swiftwater industry. Local experts, elders or conservationists occasionally join the crew to teach youth about salmon, their habitat, and their importance to our ecosystem. Experienced guides and facilitators capitalize on the many learning opportunities out on the water!

CULTURE. The YOW program is developed in partnership with local communities and First Nations. Participants learn about the history and culture of this region and how we connect to the watershed and to each other.

LEADERSHIP. Our goal is that each participant makes new friends, connects with positive role models, learns new skills and becomes empowered as leaders! Can you imagine just how incredible it would feel to learn all the skills that would allow you to safely master a raft of your peers through a whitewater canyon?

CONNECTION. Learning, failing, succeeding and reflecting together to build connection to land, culture and each other. Healthy recreational opportunities help participants make lasting connections to the watershed. Some of the inspiring connections made through YOW have brought youth into other SWCC projects, such as CLAW (Conservation Leadership Action Workshops) and youth mentoring. 

STEWARDSHIP. With the help of local fish biologists, YOW participants gain a rare glimpse into the life cycle of Skeena salmon and trout. They learn how to identify and sample fish and understand the role of salmon and wildlife in the watershed. SWCC also educates participants about ecosystem management and how we all play a role in stewardship.

FUN! It's exciting to learn and connect with tons of fun in one of North America's most extraordinary regions while rocking on the river!

CONNECTION. Learning, failing, succeeding and reflecting together to build connection to land, culture and each other. Healthy recreational opportunities help participants make lasting connections to the watershed. Some of the inspiring connections made through YOW have brought youth into other SWCC projects, such as CLAW (Conservation Leadership Action Workshops) and youth mentoring. 

SAFETY. We believe that youth who understand river currents, hydraulics and navigation will be safer in and around the Skeena watershed. Participants learn how to read currents, recognize danger, choose the best line through rapids and identify which skills are needed if you fall out of the raft in rapids. Participants learn basic skills of self-rescue and how to rescue others. By the end of the program, each student comes away with real whitewater skills to apply on any river in the world and stay safe. 

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Giving ONline

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Giving By Check

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How Donations Are Used

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Can’t donate financially? There are many other things the program needs.

  • Canned salmon or other foods to help localize our lunch menu (bread, wraps, baked goods, crackers, veggies, dips, etc.)
  • Equipment repair & maintenance (rafts, wetsuits, spray jackets, etc.)
  • Program organizing: helping set up gear, washing gear, putting gear away, inventory equipment, etc.
  • Be a guest speaker – do you have an area of expertise that relates to our program?  We host guests on the water who can talk about salmon, cultural history, conservation, biology, ecology, leadership, etc.
  • Email us if you have any other ideas!

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Energy Innovation Summit 2018

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