The view from Bastion Mountain, photo by Wendy Clay
Secondary school students returning to Shuswap schools this fall have a new resource to use that will improve their knowledge about their home place. Everything Shuswap will form part of their social studies curriculum and will be used in other classes as well. Although it is the most comprehensive source of information about our region to date, there is much more to be learned about the Shuswap and the book can be used as a source of ideas for more study and research.
Thanks to so many dedicated people, the 25th Roots and Blues Festival was a big success. Shooting footage for my annual festival video review kept me busy visiting many stages and interviewing attendees, artists, vendors and volunteers. My filming primarily focuses on my favourite music genres, and there was no shortage of great bands and artists this year. The diversity of music was in sync with the diversity of the festival attendees who were of all ages and from all corners of the globe, as our festival has now become one of the best in Canada.
Spraying manure in Hullcar, photo by Alan Price
One of the first announcements from the new government in Victoria is that there will be a review of the Hullcar aquifer, which has been contaminated by elevated levels of nitrates likely from agricultural wastes. A significant goal for the review is to provide recommendations to improve regulations for agricultural practices province-wide in order to better safeguard drinking water quality. This process should thus assist local efforts to protect Shuswap and Mara Lake water quality.
Niskonlith wildfire, August 2003
It may be time to dismiss the notion that humans are like frogs that are unable to notice when their watery environment heats up to the boiling point, as it is difficult now to not notice the growing impacts from climate change. So far this summer we have dodged the forest fire bullet in the Shuswap, but half the summer is left and the sunny, hot weather is slated to continue.
The tide is beginning to turn. Shuswap’s reputation as a mecca for high-speed, motorized aquatic recreation is slowly evolving into a destination for low-impact, sustainable, environmentally friendly, healthy paddling. The Shuswap Trail Alliance wants to encourage this transition by promoting what will be called “Blueways.” They hope to work with their partners to create a Blueways guidebook that will complement its popular trail guide and mesh with Secwepemc traditional values.
Lower Adams Lake – Cstélen
Words are not enough to do justice to this story. You need to be there and not just once, but regularly so that it becomes a tradition for you. As Secwepemc educator and historian Robert Mathew described, that is what is needed to foster a sense of place, which is the goal of the place name project he and many others have been working on for the past 20 years. Continue reading
Will there be fishing jobs like this work during the Adams River salmon run in 2010?
There is a project underway to better understand the local labour market with the goal to bolster employment opportunities in the future. An initiative of Community Futures in cooperation with local First Nation Bands, the Shuswap Labour Market Assessment and Action Plan begins with an Environmental Scan report that uses existing data to provide an analysis of the current employment conditions and future demand.
Celista Estate Winery vineyard
The North Shuswap is home to the northernmost winery in North America thanks in part to its ideal microclimate and global warming. A visit to the Celista Estate Winery can be mesmerizing, as the scenic view of the vineyard with the lake in the background is stunning, the mellow atmosphere and beautiful landscaping is relaxing and the wine is tasty. If you take the tour, you will be captivated by owner Jake Ootes’s story of how he and his wife moved here from Yellowknife to retire on 160 acres of paradise and inadvertently started a winery. Continue reading
Sometimes it takes the prying questions of a reporter to help understand better one’s own motivations for taking on an enormous task. When a CBC producer asked why I decided to write Everything Shuswap, my first response was to explain the connection between environmental protection and improving public awareness of their bioregion. However, after more reflection, the deeper reason for the dedication to the project stems from my desire to contribute to societal wellbeing.