The online journal The Tyee recently dispatched one of their correspondents to the Northwest, with Katie Hyslop spending a couple of weeks at the end of the summer travelling from the Bulkley Valley to Prince Rupert, speaking with teenagers and young adults on themes of development and the impact that any major development may have on their lives.
Her trip took the journalist from rafting with a group along the Bulkley River, to just sitting around and listening to young adults in Smithers as they looked at how they view such issues as employment and the environment and where they may fit into the future of the Northwest.
In Prince Rupert her work found her in discussion with elementary school teacher Mike McDowall, who offered her a glimpse into how students and young adults view environmental concerns through their involvement with the Prince Rupert Salmon Enhancement Society.
McDowall who teaches in the French Immersion program at École Roosevelt Elementary School outlines some of the themes that students explore through their time at the fish hatchery and how its important for them to experience things outside of a classroom or the comfort of their homes and their electronic devices.
Another stop over in the city during her visit took Hyslop to Rob Gruber's thriving activity centre known as Good Times Games, where the city's youngsters put their imaginations to work through any number of role playing activities that the Second Avenue location has to offer.
He looks to the future with hope that local job opportunities will continue to arrive, allowing for many of those kids that have passed through Good Times Games to remain in the community.
Hyslop also talked with a number of youth in Prince Rupert about the range of development projects that have been proposed for the region and how they view that potential change to the way of life on the North Coast. With the young of the community providing some fascinating input into how they see the region today and in the future.
She also offers up an outsiders view of what the current economic condition of the city looks like, making note of the "score of vacant storefronts" that mark the city's main shopping district, observations that provide for a glimpse at what those who pass through the city may be thinking as they wonder as to what the future for the North Coast may hold.
The Tyee project was supported by the Tyee Builders fund, a reader based initiative that raises money for independent and in depth reports on issues around the province.
That reader funded blue print is one that many other online publications are beginning to explore as well, as they look to tell stories that perhaps don't get much coverage from the larger commercial sources across Canada.
Ms. Hyslop's most recent work has focused on British Columbian's anywhere between 12 and 24 in age and what issues resonate may for them. Though she does expand on that overview and also explores other areas of engagement with youth and how the next generation views things.
Her travels across the Northwest provides for an interesting glimpse into how the youth of this region are looking at the future and where they fit into the current of events.
For those that may have missed the first run of the articles on the Tyee, an encore review from the Tyee website can be found below:
September 14 -- 'If they Do it Properly,' Coastal Youth Could Support Megaprojects
September 14 -- In Prince Rupert, Good Times Gaming for Young and Old
September 14 -- In Prince Rupert, Making Sure Salmon Stay in (Elementary) School
September 12 -- Bringing Love of Movement to Northwest BC's Wilderness
September 8 -- Youth in BC's Northwest Interior Wrestle with Mega-Project Future
September 8 -- In B.C.'s North, Creating a Safe Place for Youth to connect to their land
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