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Time to get out onto the land

Cli says youth must begin at home

Derek Neary
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Oct 04/02) - Rita Cli says if children in the Deh Cho are going to develop any interest in the bush, it must be fostered at home while they are young.

Several workshop participants expressed interest in holding bush camps that would bring together elders, harvesters, scientists and youth, but Cli contended that today's kids are too preoccupied with television, video games and sports. They don't want to give up modern conveniences, either, she suggests.

"We can say all these wonderful things, but if they don't want to go you can't drag them," said Cli, chief of the Liidlii Kue First Nation.

"I've confronted kids on the street. They don't want to go out on the land. It really concerns me."

She said today's youth would be best off with a Western education supplemented with lessons in traditional lifestyle.

Therefore going into the bush should be part of their upbringing at home, Cli suggested.

"They don't even go trout fishing ... (with) the older groups it's a challenge," she said. "These are factors that are facing us head-on."