Winter is upon us, and the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre is gearing up for another trapping season! We acknowledge the importance of being continually connected to the Yintah in order to be responsible stewards of the land, and recognize that this connection to the animals has been an important part of our relationship to the natural world [we are connected to inanimate objects too] since time immemorial. Unist’ot’en members have been reoccupying our traditional territory for the past ten years in order to dedicate ourselves to protecting the nourishing and sacred Wedzin’ Kwa (headwaters), the animals, plants, medicines and our ancestral sites from the destruction of industries bent on pushing their way through for profit in ways that cause irreparable harm.
Trapping is not only a vital part of practicing cultural teachings, that grounds our understanding of our intimate connection and reliance on the natural world. Trapping also helps us to witness and monitor the overall health or threats to our territory and all it supports, so we can uphold our responsibilities to steward and protect our territory in a sustainable way for future generations.
We are committed to creating a place for members of indigenous communities to spend time out on the land for healing through a relationship with the land, in traditional ways that mirror those our ancestors established and enjoyed. We know that connection to land is beneficial for Indigenous people who are struggling with the impacts of colonization through addictions,mental health or relational difficulties and also for those who have found ways to maintain their own balance and wellness.
For those who are struggling, over the next two years, Unist’ot’en Healing Centre along with key partners are in the process of developing Land-Based Healing Program with various camp intake cycles to meet the needs of North West First Nations community members, that will be developed in consultation with communities. Once these are determined, information on these healing camp cycles will be shared forward with community Health Leads for member awareness and access and will be listed on our website. If you are struggling with wellness, and interested in these healing camp cycles, please connect with your local health lead, or check out webpage to see if there are updates on the offerings and to request attendance.
At this time we welcome experienced Indigenous trappers, or those wishing to be mentored in trapping, who have also established good personal balance and wellness to visit Unist’ot’en Healing Centre for trapping. Your visit could be anywhere from one week to many months, pending the alignment and deference to healing camp cycles. Indigenous trappers who are interested in remaining on site during healing programming for mentoring may express the interest for consideration with Unist’ot’en hosts to be vetted and cleared for this function, while others could return at the close of healing camp cycles.
For Indigenous trappers who honour the associated responsibilities of trapping on Unist’ot’en territory, there is no cost to coming and staying at the Healing Centre. If you need transportation, rides can be organized and gas money can be reimbursed through fundraising. We value the importance of community, and the living accommodations are communal in the sense that everyone does their best to contribute to tasks such as cooking and dishes. There is running water which comes from the river, and limited internet and phone access.
If you are indigenous, have trapping skills, or would like to learn more about trapping, skinning, and processing animals, we would love for you to join us this season out on the Yintah! If you are not interested in trapping but enjoy other vigorous winter tasks such as making wood, clearing snow, there are a variety of options of activities for all skill levels for those who wish to contribute to our Unist’ot’en community, and help us fulfill our vision of healing on the land for Indigenous people.
We would like to inform people wanting to attend that, due to the presence of Coastal GasLink Pipeline workers, there is an RCMP presence on the roads. We are mindful that Indigenous people and those who protect interests of the environment can be unfairly targeted. We are committed to ensuring the protection of Healing Centre occupants, and have a media team on standby in the event that members of the RCMP attempt to talk to anyone who is a guest to our territory, and there are designated people who can speak to them.
Massih Cyo (thank you very much) for you interest in supporting our Unist’ot’en community and vision with your skills and knowledge. For those who come in a good way our territory, ancestors and members welcome you! Awit Zah!
To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre visit Unistoten.camp