Engagement Manager Roxanna Kooistra
Today we share a story of Hope. Since time immemorial, the Hope Slough in Chilliwack was a place of safety, connection and nourishment for the Pelólxw Tribe. When the waters of the Fraser River rose, the slough was used as an alternative transportation route between their villages at either end of the slough. We’ve heard stories that one could go to the slough each day and pick which type of fish to have for dinner! Over the years, the land changed; forests were cut down, slough banks were hardened and runoff from development and agriculture seeped into the water. Fish numbers slowly dwindled and the slough has all but dried up in the summer months. But the story does not end here.
A movement has been growing in Chilliwack called Friends of Camp/Hope Sloughs. This group, supported by Watershed Watch, consists of hundreds of volunteers, leaders and elders and youth from the Pelólxw Tribe. During a large community gathering last November, an announcement was shared about an incredible new project titled Shxwlistexw te Sqwá:la Shxweli – Caring for the Life Spirit of the Hope Slough led by the Pelólxw Tribe. The project includes extensive restoration work, including efforts to improve flow into the slough, a water quality study and restoration of Chinook and coho spawning beds!
There is much work to be done and we are looking for community members to join in. If you are interested in attending future meetings please email to let us know. Be sure to join Friends of Camp/Hope Sloughs on Facebook as well to hear about our upcoming spring canoe tour, future events and volunteer opportunities.