The Kawesas Watershed Assessment
From the Haisla Nation
Page 1: From the Haisla Nation
» Download The Kawesas Watershed Assessment in three pdf files:
From the Haisla Nation, Foreword, Chapter I (34Mb), Chapters II, III, IV (34Mb), Chapters V, VI, VII, VIII, Acknowledgments, References (21Mb)
The Kitamaat Village Council decided six years ago that the major remaining intact portion of its territory — the Greater Kitlope Ecosystem — should not be destroyed by industrial logging. We worked with Ecotrust and other allies to educate the public about the Kitlope, and as a result, in a historic first for British Columbia, West Fraser Mills voluntarily withdrew cutting plans for 317,000 hectares of the ecosystem.
It contains resources that have been used by many generations of our ancestors, and cultural secrets that have yet to be revealed. The Kawesas is part of the Greater Kitlope Ecosystem, and our unwavering position has been that the entire ecosystem must be protected. Its spiritual power is important to us and to coming generations.
The Haisla people were unanimous for protection of the Kitlope, and we expect the same support for protection of the Kawesas. The Kawesas will be protected.
Kitamaat Village Council
I am Chaqweekash, a name I inherited from my uncle, John Hall. It is an Eagle Clan name. The Kawesas is a valuable place to my family. It is rich with food: berries, salmon, wild rice. When my time is over, it will be going to the younger ones, so we need to have it left as it is.
The Haisla people feel deeply that the Kawesas is not a place to be logged. The Kawesas produces resources each and every year; if it were logged, we cannot predict whether those resources would return. There's not enough money in the world to get this place back to what it was if it were to be logged.
It has always been, from way back, that each chief has a lodge in his territory. So, the lodge we are building in the Kawesas is a way of saying "This is Haisla territory." But that does not mean it is for us only. We are given the task of protecting it and sharing it.
We want to say that we are proud of Ecotrust for the way they have helped us. I am sure that as we continue to walk with them, we will see most of the things that we have dreamed about together come to pass.
It is important that First Nations fight to protect their territories. That is why the Kitamaat Village Council and the Nanakila Institute are training young Haisla people to look after our territory and take care of it. I agree with what Gerald Amos and others have said: We are not doing this just for ourselves, but for the people of the world.
Chaqweekash Ken Hall
(Chaqweekash (Ken Hall) is Hereditary Chief of the Kawesas territory. According to ancient custom, it is his duty to share the resources of the territory and, above all, to protect it from misuse.)