top of page

Respecting the Harvest

Teaching the values of interconnectedness and generosity

Respecting the Harvest was created to provide youth from our 9 Nations with traditional teachings on hunting and food sovereignty and their importance to Indigenous identity. Facilitated by John Elliott and Cecelia Harris-Elliott and supported by Frankie Shaw and Kyla Seymour, the program also teaches practical firearm safety, learning to handle a fire arm and developing shooting skills. This December, 10 youth who had participated in previous RTH program offerings in Stz'uminus and Snuneymuxw were selected to be part of a special program: a guided hunt and tour of Treaty 8 territory based in Dawson Creek, BC.

John guided the youth throughout the trip – through early mornings and quiet contemplation, to the excitement of the hunt. In the end, the youth managed to harvest 10 deer.

"This group of kids was exceptional,” shared Cecelia. “They were up at 5:30am and ready to participate in each day's hunt. They were at first kind of a quiet group although they seemed to gel and created great friendships throughout the trip. They are so excited and eager to continue to learn more about hunting and how to process the meat.”

The youth observed the processing procedure of how to skin, cut and pack away the meat in a safe manner utilizing all parts of the deer. Meat was processed in a variety of cuts, wrapped and ready for distribution to local elders back in their home territories. “They will be learning how to ground up the meat to make sausages and become more comfortable with working with sharp filleting knives and such," says Cecelia. In keeping with the teachings, every part of the animal was used: the hooves were processed for use in regalia, the skin was harvested for future drum-making in KL’s cultural programs.

The youth were also excited to have an opportunity to visit an elk farm just across the border in Alberta which made for a very memorable time.

"They were so excited and proud,” shared Frank Shaw. “You could see it in their faces and how they carried themselves and created some very special memories. They really felt proud and productive and accomplished especially when they gifted their respected elders with wild game that they harvested."

Read more stories from our Tum'xuytl Newsletter here


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page