Chako Kunamokst means a ‘gathering place’ in the Chinook language, and this is precisely what youth have been doing at the Kimsquit Rediscovery Camp since 1984. Since those early days hundreds of children and youth have grown up with Rediscovery being a central feature in their lives.
In the summer of 1995 the longhouse at Kimsquit was alive once again with the voices of Nuxalk and other local youth. This was also the year that Chako Kunamokst Rediscovery joined forces with Rediscovery International Foundation top host the first-ever Rediscovery Community Development Training.
Developed by human rights advocate Thom Henley, the first Rediscovery took place in Haida Gwaii in 1978. The program is a wilderness-cultural heritage program that brought together Haida and non-native youths on Haida Gwaii to discover the worlds within themselves, the cultural worlds between them and the wonders of the natural world around them.
The program was immediately successful and today Rediscovery programs operate in many locations throughout Canada and the world. Today, dozens of youth and their families take part in Rediscovery’s two sessions held every summer in July.
“The saying we use at Rediscovery is, ‘I heard a voice in the wilderness and I discovered it was my own,’” said Clyde Tallio, community leader and cultural guide at Rediscovery. “It’s about reconnecting to the land, all technology is left behind and they are taught the history of their ancestors and their responsibilities as Nuxalkmc people.”
Rediscovery utilizes the land to teach everything. Youth are taken out on guided hikes and walks to identify traditional medicines, plants, and learn the history of their families. They complete solo 24-hour campouts on their own which reinforces the teaching ‘putl’lt.’ Roughly translated, putl’lt means ‘for those not yet born.’
“We are teaching them to be aware that their actions have a ripple effect that goes for generations,” said Tallio. “Out here we are enjoying the gifts of these lands because people before us thought of us.”
This year was no exception, and it was a special year as a new location was also used for the first time. Nusxiq, or Green Bay, is the ancestral home of the Nappie Family and has the blessing of Hereditary Chief Nanus (Mike Tallio) for use in the Rediscovery Program.
“Chief Nanus has opened it up for activities like Rediscovery and he supports the good work for the young people,” said Tallio. “These kids have made history by participating in the first Rediscovery at Nusxiq.”
Rediscovery is open to all youth in the Bella Coola Valley, and also conducts family sessions. If you are interested in more information, contact Tina Clellamin.