NEWS RELEASE · 21st May 2010
Stand up 4 Great Bear
StandUp4GreatBear Expedition from Kitimat to Bella Bella Welcomed by Hundreds
Squamish resident Norm Hann has completed what many thought was impossible. His 385km Stand Up Paddleboard expedition through Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest started in the Haisla Village of Kitimat, B.C on May 8th, and ended yesterday in the Heiltsuk village of Bella Bella, where he was greeted by a large gathering of local residents, including school children, hereditary chiefs, elders and other community leaders. With stops in Hartley Bay, Klemtu and as far west as the Moore Islands, the expedition helped bring awareness to the environmental threat the proposed Enbridge oil pipeline and tanker traffic will have on the Great Bear Rainforest, its people and wildlife. Hann also visited a number of vital food harvesting sites for First Nations, which are at risk from potential oil spills. The expedition served to galvanize support amongst coastal residents in opposition to the proposed oil tanker route.
“It was an incredible journey. The weather allowed us to visit wild and remote places rich in wildlife and traditional foods. This expedition confirmed how special and rare this coastal environment really is. First Nations from Kitimat to Bella Bella expressed how valuable their natural resources are to their livelihood and sense of place. They were in full 100% support of not having oil tankers on our coast. Our team was honoured to be welcomed into their communities and we were fortunate to have their guidance throughout our trip.”
Hann runs Mountain Surf Adventures in Squamish and has been a professional outdoor guide in the Great Bear Rainforest for ten years and is very connected to the land and its people. As a fishing, kayaking, wildlife and bear viewing guide he has introduced people from all over the world to the Great Bear Rainforest.