Our environment is our home. The Heiltsuk and our children are part of the environment here in the heart of what others call the Great Bear Rainforest. If we wish to gather our seaweed, our kelp, our herring eggs, our salmon, our ground fish, our medicines from trees and plants, our very building material for our homes, we must make sure we live in a healthy place. This is one of the reasons why half of our traditional territory is now in Conservancy status and the other half is stewarded under a strict set rules embedded in Ecosystem Based Management guidelines. It is why the Heiltsuk have a strong Integrated Resource Management Department and why we continue to assume responsibility for managing the resources we so depend on.
We recognize that environmental management in today's world is a complex and demanding task and that Heiltsuk youth need to prepare themselves to assume responsibility for that management in the years to come. In our view they must first care, be passionate of the resource, and be connected to the places about which they are making management decisions.
Secondly they must understand the environment and be able to explain and interpret information. A mixture of traditional knowledge and western science gives them an advantage over any other management body.
Qqs helps to prepare our young people and support our community's effort through: