Join me in releasing coho smolts into Hoy Creek

I am really excited about Sunday, May 3rd as it marks 1 year that I have been volunteering with the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society in the city of Coquitlam where I live.

One year ago I saw a notice on Facebook and walked to the creek system just across from the house I am renting. It was pouring rain but it was worth the walk, and made for a wonderful experience, as I got to witness delighted young children carrying buckets of coho salmon smolts over a short distance from a pond to be released in  Hoy Creek.  I even transferred a few over myself.

I had lots of questions for the volunteers, and after one of them answered me, I was asked if I would be interested in volunteering. That’s all it took, and looking back now, a lot has happened in one year. My work at the salmon hatchery and in the watershed has been one of my most enriching experiences.

Not only does it get me away from this machine where I put in so many long days for my career, but I get to enjoy the forest, work amid flora and fauna, and dabble in the science of taking care of salmon from egg to the smolt stage.

Thursday is now my day to take care of the salmon feeding and stats,  so if you are ever around the hatchery mid-morning, come by and say hi.

The Salmon Leave Home event will run rain or shine, and begins at 11am running until 2pm.  Once the smolts are into the creek they head downstream, where Hoy Creek joins Scott Creek, and then it’s out to the ocean.  What’s even more amazing is that these salmon will travel back to the very same creek they were born in to spawn in the years to come.  Nature is so amazing!

I will be writing a more in depth feature called Salmon Story, coming soon.

The Hoy Creek Hatchery is located on Hoy Creek Trail, west of the City Centre Aquatic Complex at the corner of Pinetree and Guildford Way. Aerial view.

Hoy Trail has a several entrances:
– Walk in from Princess Crescent;
– Walk in from behind Douglas College;
– Walk in from Guildford Way (between Johnson and Pinetree);
– Walk in from Walton Avenue, or behind Walton Elementary;
– Walk in from the foot of Lasalle Place.
OR go to Google maps and type in “Hoy Creek Hatchery”.

Bravo Bruce Jenner!

abc_jenner_sawyeI watched the ABC Diane Sawyer interview tonight with Bruce Jenner, and my spidey senses were tingling, as not only was I moved by the interview, I knew that I was taking in a part of history. I tuned in by chance (channel surfing), and never intended to watch it. I, like so many, felt Bruce was some sort of ‘oddity or loser’ solely by the way “The Kardashians” depicted him on the show.

Watching the ABC special tonight, I revisited Bruce in his early years as the Olympic athlete; then his love for his second wife (a widow/ Kris); his love for his own 4 children and taking in Kris’ children – them having 2 of their own. The fact that he held all this in, ‘his story’ for all this time, and quietly let the girls strut; and now bravely steps forward, is the most courageous act I’ve seen in a very long time.

Most touching was how his children rivaled around him, showing that really, all we need is unconditional love, and acceptance…

All I can say now is, if he did that much as a man, I can’t wait to see what he will do as a woman!

Native Actors Walk off Set of Adam Sandler Movie After Insults to Women, Elders – ICTMN.com

Native Actors Walk off Set of Adam Sandler Movie After Insults to Women, Elders – ICTMN.com.

Approximately a dozen Native actors and actresses, as well as the Native cultural advisor, left the set of Adam Sandler’s newest film production, The Ridiculous Six, on Wednesday. The actors, who were primarily from the Navajo nation, left the set after the satirical western’s script repeatedly insulted native women and elders and grossly misrepresented Apache culture.

The examples of disrespect included Native women’s names such as Beaver’s Breath and No Bra, an actress portraying an Apache woman squatting and urinating while smoking a peace pipe, and feathers inappropriately positioned on a teepee.

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/04/23/native-actors-walk-set-adam-sandler-movie-after-insults-women-elders-160110

Scott Creek gets an invasive English ivy removal for Earth Day

As members of Hoy / Scott Creek Watershed Society (HSWS), this past Sunday in Coquitlam, my daughter Jackie and I joined the congregation of Eagle Ridge United Church (ERUC)  in honour of International Earth Day 2015.  After feeding the salmon at Hoy Creek Hatchery  I put on a #BadSeed t-shirt (it was getting hot out) and we headed down with other HSWS members to help  remove invasive plants (mainly English Ivy) and garbage from the banks of Scott Creek south of Guildford Way and Eagleridge Drive.

I was shocked when we arrived and the congregation had already nearly a dump truck full of ivy. We jumped in and continued  on with them.  It’s always heartwarming to see families out, and people of all ages working together in nature with a common goal. The City of Coquitlam had provided the truck and all the equipment for clipping, digging, and garbage picking.

I’ve always loved English Ivy, and remember having it in our home in Alberta growing up. It was almost treated like an exotic plant there, as well as in The Bahamas, were I used to live. It’s everywhere here in British Columbia, and it looks so pretty growing over everything. Even though it’s beautiful,  it’s fast growth and extensive rooting system can quickly take over an entire area. Pulling  up ivy was not as easy I thought, as you could start by pulling up a root at your feet, and find out it extends meters away. My back sure felt it the  next day!

In total over 50 people come out, thanks to Eagle Ridge United. The photo above, provided by ERUC, is only a portion of those who lent a hand. “Improving the quality of this valuable habitat by removing invasive plants and garbage, and helping to restore native vegetation, is one small way our congregation is giving back to our neighbourhood” says Ingrid Brown, Associate Pastor for ERUC.

Jackie standing by a pile of uprooted English ivy; Ivy on the trees; Me next to the Bad Seed sign (no it's not a rock band, lol; and Jackie planting a tree that will support the riparian area were also planted.
Jackie standing by a pile of uprooted English ivy; Ivy on the trees; Me next to the Bad Seed sign (no it’s not a rock band, lol); and Jackie planting a tree that will support the riparian area.

Once we were done, my daughter reminded me that I’d promised her Starbucks, and we walked the short block to get something cold. Guess what they had in their patio planters?  Yup, English ivy!

Established in the Hoy-Scott watershed in 1987, Eagle Ridge United Church is located squarely between Hoy and Scott Creeks, which join together before entering into the Coquitlam River. Both creeks support numerous species of salmon, including chum, coho, pink and steelhead, and provide habitat for a diversity of wildlife in this urbanized neighbourhood.

The Hoy / Scott Watershed Society operates a small salmon hatchery in Coquitlam and conducts a salmon enhancement program. The group stewards the Hoy and Scott Watersheds, promotes public awareness and education, and is involved in watershed restoration and preservation.

English ivy is used throughout the Lower Mainland Vancouver area in landscaping. I took this photo in a shopping center parking lot in Coquitlam.
English ivy is used throughout the Lower Mainland of Vancouver used mainly in landscaping. I took this photo in a shopping center parking lot in Coquitlam.

Terry Fox awarded Metis ‘Order of the Sash’

I had no idea Terry Fox was Metis!  As a Metis Nation person myself, I wanted to share this press release.

Abbotsford, BC  – Métis Nation British Columbia president Bruce Dumont on behalf of the MNBC Board of Directors and the Métis Nation awarded the Order of the Sash posthumously to Terry Fox last year at the 2014 Annual General Meeting. Darrell Fox, Terry’s brother was unfortunately unable to attend the AGM as his work had him overseas. However on April 16th, 2015 at the MNBC office in Abbotsford, President Dumont along with Lower Mainland regional director Glen Ohs, and the majority of the MNBC staff presented the Order of the Sash to Darrel in honor of Terry’s many contributions to our nation and to human kind. President Dumont also presented Darrel with his first Sash since establishing his Métis citizenship.

Darrell, accepted the “The Order of the Sash” on his brothers behalf, an award which honours and recognizes outstanding contributions, personal sacrifices, selfless commitments, and services to the Metis nation, and/or Canada.

A very emotional Darrell Fox when receiving his own Sash said “I am very proud of my Métis Heritage and honoured to belong to the Metis Nation BC.”

Too many of our lives have been impacted, in one way or another, by cancer. What Fox accomplished with his Marathon of Hope as a very young man is more than remarkable. He was able to raise millions of dollars for cancer research and this legacy continues stronger than ever today. But I think it is safe to suggest that it was Fox’s attitude in the face of ultimate adversity that keeps his memory so alive in the minds of Canadians, and people all over the world. Darrell spoke of the Terry Fox runs being held in countries like Abu Dhabi. Terry proved, that no matter what obstacles life may throw at you, anything is possible. A true Hero indeed and most deserving of this Order.

A very emotional Darrell Fox when receiving his own Sash said “I am very proud of my Métis Heritage and honoured to belong to the Metis Nation BC.”  Assistant to the director of registries and harvesting Clerk Terry Ranson had also presented Darrell with his daughter’s MNBC citizenship card of which Darrell said “my son is next.”

“Today in Abbotsford we were honoured with the presence of Darrell Fox and I was very privileged on this special day to present the Order of the Sash. It is a day we will never forget, one of the proudest of many as a Metis Citizen and President of our great Métis Nation BC.” said President Dumont.

ReMatriate wants to take back ‘visual identity’ of First Nations women

A Yukon woman is part of a national group fighting back against the misappropriation of indigenous images and labels in pop culture.

Claire Anderson, a lawyer in Whitehorse, is a member of ReMatriate, a collective of women from different First Nations across the country using photography and social media to take back control of their “visual identity.”

The tipping point came when a Canadian designer announced its new fashion line called D-Squaw, which its website stated was inspired by “Canadian Indian tribes.”

That provoked a group of women to start talking about how they could create awareness around use of the word “squaw,” said Kelly Edzerza-Bapty, a member of the collective who lives in Vancouver.

Read more at ReMatriate wants to take back ‘visual identity’ of First Nations – North – CBC News.

Coquitlam groups to clean a portion of Scott Creek for Earth Day

Photo of Scott Creek looking south toward Guildford Way in Coquitlam  (Photo: Robbin Whachell)
Photo of Scott Creek looking south toward Guildford Way in Coquitlam (Photo: Robbin Whachell)

I am always pleased to be assisting with Hoy Scott Watershed Society, and although the hatchery is located on Hoy Creek, just a short walk from my home, it’s great to be focusing some attention on Earth Day over at Scott Creek. We will not be in the creek but in the riparian area along it.

Here’s our press release:

Coquitlam, BC – The congregation of Eagle Ridge United Church (ERUC) is giving back to its neighbourhood in honour of International Earth Day 2015. On April 19 from 1:00pm to 3:00 pm ERUC will be joining with the Hoy/Scott Watershed Society to remove invasive plants and garbage from the banks of Scott Creek between Guildford Way and Eagleridge Drive.

“The Hoy/Scott Watershed Society has been working to remove invasive plants around the hatchery on Hoy Creek and is looking forward to expanding our work to the Scott Creek corridor in partnership with Eagle Ridge United Church” says president Lindsay Pollock.

Established in the Hoy-Scott watershed in 1987, Eagle Ridge United Church is located squarely between Hoy and Scott Creeks, which join together before entering into the Coquitlam River. Both creeks support numerous species of salmon, including chum, coho, pink and steelhead, and provide habitat for a diversity of wildlife in this urbanized neighbourhood.

“Improving the quality of this valuable habitat by removing invasive plants and garbage, and helping to restore native vegetation, is one small way our congregation is giving back to our neighbourhood” says Ingrid Brown, Associate Pastor for ERUC.

ERUC is located at 2813 Glen Drive in Coquitlam. Everyone is invited to worship on Sundays at 10 am, and participate in community events such as this Earth Day good neighbour initiative. For more information, visit www.eruc.ca or call 604-945-9811.

The Hoy / Scott Watershed Society operates a small salmon hatchery in Coquitlam and conducts a salmon enhancement program. The group stewards the Hoy and Scott Watersheds, promotes public awareness and education, and is involved in watershed restoration and preservation. Learn more at hsws.ca.