image credit: Vern Brown
The SEAS Community Initiative is helping First Nations students in the Great Bear Rainforest take an active role in learning about the lands and waters of their traditional territory.
The mission of SEAS is to empower youth of First Nations communities to be stewards of their territories and natural resources by building educational capacity, creating opportunities for hands-on experience and supporting youth in achieving their educational and career goals.
In Klemtu our program is centered on the development and preservation of culture, education regarding sustainable non-extractive industry and the conservation of resource and wildlife habitat within the Kitasoo Xai’xais territory. Since the program’s inception in Klemtu in 2012 we have had remarkable results in the number of our students pursuing higher education, and following career paths into fields that will benefit the community for many years to come.
The long-term vision for the program is a sustainable future for our community led by a new generation of local leaders who are empowered through education, mentorship and community support. All SEAS programs are developed by aboriginal communities, for aboriginal communities. The programs are defined by First Nations partners, rooted in local knowledge and spearheaded by local leaders in each community.
In Klemtu we support the vision of our community in re-kindling the connection between our young people and the natural world of our traditional territory.
Each new season, we hire 4 interns to work with us. We take into strong consideration who these youth are before planning the season. For the most part, these youth will have or hold traditional names, whether newly given to them or a name they have been groomed for, & we do our best to try to teach them what their names mean & take them to where their name originated. We take them to places in the territory that are meaningful to us as a community as well as them, for their name & titles they may hold in the future.