Saturday, June 3, 2023

Cloudberry Trail preview hike on for Sunday in Prince Rupert

The parking lot for the Tall Trees Trail on Highway 16
is the staging area for Sunday's walk along a portion of the 
proposed Cloudberry trail project

The members of Kaien Trails are organizing a Sunday morning stroll through the woods off of the Tall Trees Trails parking lot, with the local Trails Society looking to showcase the proposed route of the Cloudberry Trail with an event set for 10:30.

The Trail is the next much anticipated bit of work for the local group of trail builders and maintainers.

The project one which in its early stages will eventually link up the Trail Trees Trail with the Prince Rupert Civic Centre, following a path to be carved out of the forest that lines Highway 16.

Tomorrow those with an interest in the plans, can join the Kaien Trails crew for a walkabout, the invitation issue through their social media stream on Friday.

The Tall Trees Trail for those not familiar with the popular trail, is on the right side of the highway heading out of Prince Rupert. You can find the parking lot  just down the highway from the entrance to Butte Rapids and the new Welcome to Prince Rupert sign.

The work on phase one of what will become the Cloudberry Trail is set for later this year, with a trail to be constructed from the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre to where Prince George Street meets Highway 1.

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Last month Sean Carlson from Kaien Trails provided a short preview of their plans for Prince Rupert City Council, you can review that presentation from our blog item available here.

To learn more about what the Kaien Trails Society has done so far in the community and what is planned for the future check out their website and Social Media stream.

For more on the planning towards community trails see our archive page here.

More notes on Community themes can be explored here.

Friday, June 2, 2023

Skeena River Relay hits Highway 16 at 7AM Saturday from Lester Centre; launching 142.4 kilometre run to Terrace

One of the most popular events on the local running calendar arrives tomorrow morning as the Rupert Runners provide for the start line for the Skeena River Relay a 142.4 kilometre course along the scenic and challenging Skeena Highway between Prince Rupert and Terrace.

Ten Stages mark the event, the first leg comes with the departure from the Lester Centre of the Arts as participants in Six Categories and their support teams head east towards their ultimate destination of Canadian Tire in the Terrace.

Ten Stages mark the travels for runners in Saturday's
Skeena River Relay

As of today, 30 teams had registered for the Saturday event, with Registration now closed.  

That means that all that is left was for participants to do is to pick up their race packages tonight from the Judo room at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre. 

From there it's get a good nights rest, fuel up in the morning and hit the pace early Saturday.

The Skeena River Relay wraps up with a social event Saturday evening at the Hidden Acres Farm and Treehouse Resort on River Drive in Terrace.

You can explore just what has gone into the 2023 edition of the relay from the Rupert Runner's info page here, as well as from the Social Media page created for the Saturday race.

For those not taking part in the race, but still planning a trip inland on Saturday, motorists are asked to exercise caution on their drive and be aware of the runners and their support teams through the day Saturday at the various stages along the way to Terrace.

The City of Prince Rupert provided a reminder for motorists of the plan for Saturday through their Social Media stream on Friday afternoon.

More notes on the running scene in the Northwest can be explored here.

Terrace region turns attention from Floods to risks of Wildfires, as June sets stage for warmer and drier conditions

Just shot of two weeks after they last had to hear about the potential for flooding in the Skeena reign, residents of Terrace are being reminded to be alert to the dangers of Wildfire risk.

The last advisory on the Status for flooding on the Skeena and  area tributaries came on May 23, bringing an end to the watchful times for the area when it comes to rising water.

Today however comes the first advisory of the year from the BC Wildfire Service, which alerts residents of the Terrace region towards heightened conditions in area forests, with much of the Northwest currently listed as a High Risk.

You can access the updated conditions for the Northwest daily from the BC Wildfire Service website, with a range of material to explore as you dig into their information portal.

In May Firefighters in the Terrace tackled a fire near Rosewood, while Kitimat also had a situation to deal on the outskirts of the city.

The province also notes how we can provide for a line of defence for fire fighters in BC, that by reporting any wildfires, or unattended campfires that we may see.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone or download the BC Wildfire Service app

The mobile app allows individuals to submit photos along with their report which helps inform BC Wildfire Service operational decision-making. Information on the Wildfire App can be found below:

Apple Store link
Google Play Store link

More helpful information toward safety in the outdoors can be reviewed here.

Not everyone is out of the risk yet for floods however, the Thaltan territory in the Stikine Region is currently the focus of a High Stream Advisory following some heavy rains in the area.

To track the latest wildfire information for the Northwest see our archive page here.

All that's left is the speculation, after some bush carving along Prince Rupert Boulevard

Making some holes along PRB 

Some land excavation in a forested area off of Prince Rupert Boulevard near Charles Hays Secondary School likely has residents of Gull Crescent wondering what's up, that after two swaths of land were cleared earlier this week.

The area of interest from that work is located  between Gull and travels down into the area behind the BC Hydro station located at 11th Avenue East and McBride.

The urban deforestation came on Tuesday and Wednesday, noted only by a traffic advisory from the City of Prince Rupert earlier this week.

By Thursday, the forested area behind the long existing residences had returned to a more tranquil experience, with little activity to be seen along the two pathways that had been carved into the bush.

Other than the Lane Closure notice of earlier this week, the City of Prince Rupert has yet to indicate what the purpose of the exploration was about; or what may be in works for the residents of the Prince Rupert Boulevard neighbourhood.

A situation that likely has set a few of the property owners along the western edges of Gull Crescent to wonder what may be coming next.

More notes on Council themes can be reviewed from our archive page.

Salute in Smithers for popular musical ambassador includes downtown mural, which now makes him a Northwest tourist attraction

The parents of Smithereen. Alex Cuba in front of the town mural
that celebrates his Grammy Award success and sense of place in Smithers 

The long running love affair between the Town of Smithers and musician Alex Cuba continues on, with the Bulkley Valley town main their main man of music a tourism icon,  with a larger than life visual of the Grammy winning musician part of the town's street scape.

The mural which was created in the summer of 2022 by regional artist Facundo Gastiazoro debuted as part of a Block Party hosted Cuba to celebrate his Grammy award for his album Mendo.

The plaque to go with the mural tells the story of how the project came together.

This week the Smithereen with the Latin beat shared a few thoughts on his time in the community and the support he has drawn from the residents of the Bulkley valley since his family moved there in 2003.

His review of two decades, offering up a glimpse as to why Smithers keeps the beat and salutes their local minstrel of exotic sounds as he travels the globe and collects awards.

With a larger than life presence to be found in the town's core, more and more travellers to the northwest  stopping over in Smithers, will soon learn a story of just one of the talents that come from the Northwest.

You can follow up on Alex Cuba's love of community by following his Social media stream here.

More on tourism across the region can be reviewed through our archive page here.

Smooth marine exercise on Prince Rupert waterfront wraps early

Today was a day for putting Emergency responders through their paces when it comes to marine scenarios on the Prince Rupert waterfront, with the Prince Rupert Cruise Terminal the focus for a combined effort in preparation.

The exercise which brought Port of Prince Rupert responders together with members of the Prince Rupert Fire/Rescue service went so well today that it was wrapped up by 11AM, which left just the PRFD members to collect their equipment following about four hours of training towards emergency situations along the Cruise Terminal promenade.

Officials had originally set a timeline of 7AM to 12:30 PM for the day's training program.

PRFD members and PRPA staff  take part in these exercises a number of times through the year, keeping skills sharp and responding to a range of scenarios towards emergency situations that could come up on the waterfront.

A video posted Friday Afternoon by the Port Authority provides an overhead glimpse of the exercise from the morning hours.

Follow the PRPA and PRFD Social media feeds below, for further video themes or photos from today's exercise. 

Prince Rupert Port Authority 

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue 

More notes on the work of Emergency Responders in the Northwest can be reviewed through our archive page here.

Coastal Marine Strategy focus for June 12 Open House in Prince Rupert

An opportunity to learn more about what the BC Government and regional stake holders have in mind for a Coastal Marine Strategy for the North Coast will be the topic for an Open House in mid June.

The two hour event from 6 to 8 PM will be hosted by the Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship and takes place on Monday, June 12th at the Crest Hotel.

The session will explore the increasing pressures on marine ecosystems and communities, with the Strategy one which will lay the groundwork for investments that will improve the stewardship and health of coastal ecosystems.

Representatives of the Ministry will lead the presentation and be on hand to ask any questions related to the province's future planning.

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice highlighted the upcoming event through her social media page, the link to RSVP to the event can be found below.

More on the June 12 event can be reviewed here

The current round of planning towards a Coastal Marine Strategy began in late 2022.

Yesterday, we noted of some additional funding from the BC Government that has been directed towards a coastal clean up as part of the BC plan towards protection of the marine environment.

Additional items of note from the Legislature can be explored here.

Wheelhouse Move in motion, with plans ahead for special Seafest outdoor celebration


Victoria Day marked the final glass of Wheelhouse Brews at their former location
up the hill from the Atlin Terminal

The Big Wheelhouse migration is underway, with the old location being emptied of the memorabilia that marked the many years atop the hill from the Atlin Terminal, with the destination down to the waterfront area adjacent to Rotary Park and the Kwinitsa Museum. 

The last pour at the old locale came on Victoria Day, with some last memories shared over that weekend as the owners made plans for their travels to their new home in the CN Waterfront building.

Since that time, the new location has been a frenetic bee hive of activity with trades workers and contractors putting some of the final touches to the new destination.

Work continues to move forward towards opening day for the
new location of Prince Rupert's Wheelhouse Brewing company

The team at the Wheelhouse has not as of yet outlined a timeline towards Opening Day at the new location,  though it would seem to still be a bit off, that with an advisory towards their plans for Seafest Saturday on June 10th and what has become their traditional Beer Garden festival.

The Wheelhouse's Seafest Saturday poster provides a look at the area set aside for the Waterfront Beer Gardens which will be on the East side of the facility.

You can follow the Wheelhouse Social media stream for updates on what will be a much anticipated reopening for the local craft brewers as they open the doors to their new digs sometime in the near future.

More notes on the city's commercial sector can be reviewed from our archive page here.

Skeena - Bulkley Valley MP presents petition calling for union representation on Port Authority Boards across Canada

Port workers in Prince Rupert and across Canada want to be included
as part of the Board of Directors for Canada's Port Authorities 

Port workers want to be part of the Board, that's the theme to a call for action for those who work on the waterfronts across Canada as members of the union movement look for more input on decision making.

The call for representation of labour on the Boards of Port Authority's across the nation has been delivred to the House of Commons, with Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach  bringing a petition to the Chamber on Thursday.

"The petitioners note the essential nature of port workers roles in the operation of Canada's supply chain, they note the impact of decision making at Canada's ports on their lives and most importantly they note the essential experience and knowledge that they bring to  the operation of Canada's ports"

The petitioners are calling on the government to amend the Canada Marine Act, to ensure that port workers are represented on the Board of Directors of Canada's Port Authority's.

The Prince Rupert Port Authority currently lists five members of its Board of Directors. A wide range of accomplishments among them, but none as the petition would note are related to port worker experience.

The Statement of Qualifications for the Directorships can be explored here.

The current Board and officials with the Port of Prince Rupert will be hosting their Annual Public Meeting in Prince Rupert on June 15th at the Crest Hotel.

As for the initiative introduced by the Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP. the details towards the Petition can be reviewed here.

The presentation of the petition in the House of Commons can be viewed below:

More notes on Labour in the Northwest can be explored here.

A wider overview of Mr. Bachrach's work at the House of Commons can be reviewed here.

'The Urbarginal' takes Rudy Kelly's journey and remembrances to the national stage

Journalist, actor, novelist and now a podcaster, the journey for Rudy Kelly continues forward and the spotlight now turns to the national stage with the debut of a project over a year in the making.

The Urbariginal has debuted as part of CBC Radio's Podcast project, the six episode series one that was taken on by Mr. Kelly through the Daybreak North Studios, with Daybreak North host Carolina de Ryk along for the creative process.

The line up of episodes for the six part CBC Listen podcast
'The Urbariginal'
(click to enlarge)

Long in the local spotlight for the range of his talents and sense of community,  we noted of his latest project back in June of 2022, when the genesis of the larger podcast project was delivered through a month long event at the Prince Rupert Library.

Mr. Kelly and Ms. de Ryk provided a short overview of the project with a piece this past week on Daybreak North, recounting the day that the CBC Radio morning show host pitched the podcast idea over a cup of coffee and how the project evolved from that point forward.

Their conversation provides a look at what themes and how the scope of the conversations with elders and others in communities along the North Coast shaped the narrative for their work. 

As well as how the road towards the finish line for the work provided for a reflection of his life with his father and how the local region became part of the journey.

It takes skill, knowledge and patience to compile the material required for a project of this scope, one that shares a message with an audience.  

But it also requires a fair bit of courage to lay out your own travels as the main narrative. 

The six episode podcast offers a unique view of North Coast life that many of us likely only have scattered memories to call on, or anecdotal knowledge of.

Asked by Ms. de Ryk as to who the podcast is designed for, the answer provides a snapshot of the focus for the project and some of the personal remembrances that it will deliver.

"I think its for, its kind of for all Indigenous people, but certainly for other Urbariginal's like me, Who have been raised in a mostly urban setting but don't know much about their culture. And as everyone knows, even outsiders that aren't Indigenous, there's quite a divide on and off reserve.

They look at you as you know being a sell out right? Me working in, within you know White organization like the city and saying. ah you're just a token, I actually got called that. 

Most people congratulated me for that job, being a first Director in the City of Prince Rupert.  
But also I got a lot of yeah you're just a token, they needed a brown face because such was the times" --Rudy Kelly on the Urbariginal

It's an impressive list of accomplishments to date and As Ms. de Ryk notes as she wraps up the interview this week:  Storyteller is also something to now add to add to his resume.

You can Tavel along with Kelly and de Ryk from this link to the Urbariginal spot on the CBC Listen portal 

The Urbarignal is also available on other podcasting platforms, so check your listings to see if yours is among them.

A look at more media themes from the Northwest is available through our archive page

Convocation Time comes to Coast Mountain College Prince Rupert on Tuesday

Prince Rupert's Lester Centre is the host venue for the 2023 Coast
Mountain College Convocation for North Coast students on June 6

One of life's passages comes next week for some of the student body of the Prince Rupert Campus of Coast Mountain College.

A potential of over 70 students will participate in the Tuesday Convocation for the Prince Rupert campus, the event set for a 1 PM start at the Lester Centre of the Arts.

The conclusion of their studies from a range of programs with Coast Mountain College will make for a day of celebration; not only for the students, but their families, some of whom may be coming from as far abroad as India, Africa and the Philippines,. 

They will join families and friends from students from across the nation, province, Northwest and Prince Rupert  to bring a chapter of academic life to a close.

The event is also one that will attract both College officials from the main Terrace campus, but local and regional dignitaries.

Those taking in the Convocation on Tuesday will receive diplomas, associate degrees, certificates and other honours.

Participants in the event are reminded to arrive at 11:30AM at the Lester Centre for their gowns with photos to follow at Noon.  The Convocation ceremony will start at 1PM.

You can follow the Coast Mountain College social media stream for updates towards Prince Rupert Convocation Day and the larger event planned for Terrace.

More notes on Coast Mountain College can be explored through our archive page here.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

MP Taylor Bachrach, NDP disappointed at Federal report on National Bus Transportation planning

A Report for the Standing Committee on Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities has come up significantly short for Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrarch, who has shared more than a few thoughts on his concerns towards the document.

The Report called: Improving Bus Connectivity in Canada was launched in part at the urging of the Northwest Member of Parliament, who had taken the issues of poor transportation options for his constituents to the House of Commons.

Over four days of hearings, the committee heard from witnesses including academics, municipalities, bus service operators, and advocacy groups. 

Many of the participants provided their accounts of the challenges of linking Canadians following the end of Greyhound national service in recent years.

In a statement from Tuesday, Bachrach notes that despite strong
testimony describing how Canada’s inter-regional bus service is failing to serve Canadians and the importance of federal leadership, the recommendations from the majority of MPs on the committee fell far short of what is needed to connect Canadians. 

 "There is an alarming disconnect between the experts' strong call for action and the lacklustre recommendations in the report. Where Greyhound once provided a coast-to-coast bus service, we now see a fragmented patchwork, with serious consequences for low-income Canadians, Indigenous people, seniors and marginalized populations." 

The Committee Report, which you can review here, delivered Seven Recommendations.

Those seven elements however, do not meet the larger ambitions for the NDP, which attached their own dissenting report to the document, found as part of the last five pages of the Committee document noted above.

The main call for the NDP, that of the creation of a Public, Nationwide Bus network.

Towards that goal, Bachrach is calling on federal Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra to demonstrate leadership in re-establishing nation-wide bus service. 

"While the Minister abdicates responsibility and points fingers at the provinces, Canadians are faced with fewer affordable inter-regional transport options than ever before. I had hoped the committee's report would reflect the urgency of the situation, but unfortunately it seems the other parties are content with half-measures.

As we heard during this study, safe, reliable bus service is essential to Canadians, especially those in marginalized communities,. It helps people access jobs, education, and health services, not to mention providing the ability to escape domestic violence and avoid unsafe modes of transportation, like hitchhiking. 

Bus service is not a luxury, it’s a public necessity and a step forward in reconciliation. Canadians can’t afford to have the federal government drag its feet on this issue.” 

The Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP also made note of  the BC government's recent renewal of funding for regional and community to community bus service in northwest BC.  

As we outlined earlier this week,  the announcement from the BC Government has allocated another 5 million dollars towards the BC North Bus and community shuttle programs along the Highway 16 corridor and throughout Northern BC.

 "Thanks to the provincial government's investments in public bus service, our region is better served than most other parts of rural Canada. However, service is still not at the levels Greyhound once provided, and connections to other regions of the country are virtually non-existent. There is a lot of work to do, and the federal government has a central role to play." 

You can review more on the local themes of transportation along the Highway 16 Corridor from our archive page here.

More items of interest from the House of Commons can be explored here.

Prince Rupert Recreation Department opens application period for Summer Camp Program

It's almost Summer Camp season with Prince Rupert Recreation

With the countdown towards the end of school now on, parents are making their summer plans to keep the young ones occupied and there to help is the City of Prince Rupert which has announced their plans for the Summer Camp season this summer.

As we've noted earlier this spring, the City had been busy setting up the camp crew for 2023, with a number of job postings for the season ahead.

Towards the 2023 program, this year the City is offering camps each week for youth ages 6-8 and 9-12.

With programs starting the first week of July and running through to September 1st

Of note, there is no camp in place for this summer for those in the pre-school age range.

The application period for the two levels for camps that are offered  opened today and you can call (250) 624-6707 for more information.

The City's Rec Department also reminds youth and their parents or guardians of the Youth Lounge open twice a week at the Civic Centre.

As well as their Fun Friday program.

For more notes of interest on Recreation in the community see the Prince Rupert Recreation Social Media page.

More on Civic themes can be reviewed through our archive page here.

25 million dollar add on towards funding for Coast Clean up in 2023

Image from BC Government

The Province of British Columbia has doubled its investment towards a coastal clean up, adding another 25 million dollars to their funding towards the 4,600 kilometres of shoreline that is the focus for the work.

George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy announced the funding earlier this week noting of the success of the past for the program.

“I am honoured to stand with First Nations and partner organizations who are taking a leadership role in cleaning up marine debris and plastic pollution. The Clean Coast, Clean Waters projects have and continue to help protect and restore the health of our marine ecosystems. All British Columbians deserve access to a healthy environment. As part of our government’s broader CleanBC Plastics Action Plan to reduce plastic waste and pollution, these projects are protecting our coastlines for the benefit of our communities now and for the future.”

The additional $25 million in one-time funding will more than double the B.C. government’s investment in the Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative Fund, for a total of approximately $50 million. 

The Coastal First Nations-Great Bear Initiative will receive $4 million, bringing its total funding to $7.5 million since 2020. 

The remaining $21 million will be awarded to successful funding applicants through a merit-based assessment process, administered by PwC Canada. 

Nathan Cullen, Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship, highlighted some of the work of the past that has been part of the program.

“The Clean Coast, Clean Waters initiative has removed over 1,500 tonnes of marine debris to date, including 118 derelict vessels. Preventing and cleaning up marine pollution is essential to a healthy and productive coast, and is one aspect of our vision for B.C.’s future as we develop a Coastal Marine Strategy in partnership with First Nations.”

The funding will be distributed in two rounds, one this spring and another planned for early 2024. 

The first application period has ended. Successful recipients will be notified in June to allow projects to begin this summer. 

Projects from the first round must be completed, have their data collected and final reports submitted by Feb. 29, 2024.

A good portion of the clean up will take place in the constituency of North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, who shared notes on the funding initiative on Wednesday as well as to highlight the current opening for those with an interest in the program.

More on the program can be reviewed here.

The full announcement from the BC government is available here.

A wider overview of themes from the Legislature can e reviewed from our archive page.

CFNR "J School" to hold sessions this summer

 An opportunity for Indigenous youth to learn about the vocation of Journalism and News Presentation comes this summer as Terrace based radio station CFNR hosts a Training course.

The program which partners with Tricorp provides for a range of topics through the six week program which runs between July 24 and September 1st.

Among some of the themes that will make for the curriculum this summer:

The basics of Journalism & News
Successful of news stories, by learning writing and presentation 
Various types of storytelling  
Behind the scenes 

The program prospectus notes that students will receive training that will enable them to gain skills for many endeavours in today’s world. 

 The craft and skills learned will allow them to use for their own communities and their communications needs, and be a stepping stone for them in urban areas. 

Students will receive a certificate upon successful completion of this course.

Elements that will go towards that certificate include:

Introduction to Journalism
Legal, libel and copywriting 
Website and Social Media 
Video ENG (Electronic News Gathering) 

Participants will also gain some Practicum experience.

To requirements to qualify for the program are listed below:

Be of aboriginal ancestry
Be 18 years of age or older
Have or be able to acquire a valid driver’s license
Demonstrate a professional attitude, be punctual, and commit to the program
Be proactive in their training

This summer's program makes for the third partnership for CFNR, with support this summer from Tricorp.

To learn more about the project and to apply for the summer session see this link.

More notes on the North Coast Media scene can be explored here.

Cow Bay Go Around arrives Friday night, as water infrastructure project on First Avenue reaches intersection with Third East


Contractors working on the city's First Avenue Water infrastructure are
about to make the leap into the intersection at Third Ave East
which means a road closure for the weekend ahead

The work on the city's water infrastructure along First Avenue East is about to move a bit further along the road and with it will come a Road Closure to access for Cow Bay from Third Avenue East, with the city making plans for at least a weekend closure for the road come 6 PM Friday evening.

click to enlarge

Towards getting to the Cow Bay Area for the weekend, the City has offered up a map of the Detours in place for those travelling into the popular shopping and service area

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If all goes well, Third Avenue East will reopen to traffic by Monday morning at 6AM

Follow the City's social media stream for any updates on the work this weekend.

More notes on the city's infrastructure work can be explored through our archive page.

Professor Mirau with the 411 on Food Security in Prince Rupert

Gitmaxmak'ay Nisga Society CEO Blair Mirau was a guest
speaker as part of a Coast Mountain College course in May

The Gitmaxmak'ay Nisga'a Society Food Economic development program was the focus for a guest lecture earlier this month at the Prince Rupert Rupert campus of Coast Mountain College.

Blair Mirau, the CEO of the Society served as guest instructor for the CMTN Geography of Food Class session, providing a look at the growing food related empire for the Society, as well as to touch on themes related to traditional foodways  and to build food security on the North Coast.

Some further background on some of the solutions towards food security that the Gitmaxmak'ay Society is involved with can be reviewed here.

Some snapshots of the companies mentioned as part of the May session can be explored here.

Mr. Mirau haČ™ been a long running advocate towards food security themes, both through his work with the Gitmaxmak'ay Nisga'a Society, as well as during his time in office as a city Councillor in Prince Rupert.

To learn more about their Food Security program to date and what may be ahead, contact the Gitmaxmak'ay Nisga'a Society through one of the options offered here.

More notes on Coast Mountain College can be reviewed here.

Items of interest from the Nisga'a Nation can be explored here.