Bella Bella Garden Project
June 12, 2017
In October 2015 a ferry sank off the coast of the Heiltsuk First Nation near Bella Bella. First Met has connections with this area off the BC coast.
We have received a request to support a special garden project in Bella Bella and we want to encourage the First Met community to donate to show our support for this community-building initiative.
Jess Housty, a community development worker in Bella Bella says: "One of the challenges is that the spill (from the sinking) happened in the most productive area of our territory, where families typically harvest over 25 marine and inter-tidal species for sustenance.
It's been an obvious blow to food security but, on a less obvious note, many families have privately expressed to me it's also causing a huge emotional imbalance because many people associate their connection to the waters with their a sense of personal well being and ability to provide for their families.
The emotional stability that comes from being able to rely on our homelands is gone."
Qqs Projects Society, Housty's non-profit, runs a gardening and food self-sufficiency program near Bella Bella. Along with access from the local sawmill to at-cost building materials for planters, three seed companies have donated seeds and the society is is raising funds to hire local people, ideally displaced fishermen, to help clean the 2,300-square-foot site and assemble the planters.
The project also needs to bring in soil, purchase gardening tools and hopes to bring in some fruit trees.
If you feel you can donate any amount, large or small, to this project, please note on your cheque that it is for the Bella Bella Garden project or, if you drop it off, let the finance office know what is for for.
For further information about this project, please contact Janet Gray at 250-478-5066.