The Qqs Project Society is an organization dedicated to supporting the development of the Heiltsuk; an indigenous band residing along the central coast of British Columbia. The primary community of Bella Bella has about 1,500 residents, with a majority of the population under the age of 25. The Qqs Project Society – among other things – runs a youth camp for this young population. Youth programs are run throughout the summer months at the camp’s remote location on the Koeye (Kvai) Estuary. It is here that the youth of the community can learn about their traditions and culture while being inspired to become stewards of the environment. The program has been running for many years and has done nothing short of an incredible job of inspiring the young members of the community.
In addition to the camp, the society funds a salmon life-cycle monitoring program on the Koeye River.It is here that scientists, Heiltsuk technicians and the campers continuously study, monitor and learn about the health of the salmon populations in the region. Goals of the project include:
- providing a natural resource management plan to ensure that fish populations throughout the territory are managed in an effective and sustainable manner
- employ young adults from the Heiltsuk community as technicians, with the long term goal of passing ongoing responsibility off to them
- inspiring and education the campers who attend the youth program
The Science Director for the program is William Atlas; a PhD Candidate at SFU. Along with Karl Seitz, the two lead the execution of the salmon research program. In addition to the Qqs Project Society, the project is also supported by the Hakai Institute, Tides Canada and other organzations.
If you’re interested in learning more about the organization please check out their website or reach out to us with any questions.