We have just completed the Connections study tour involving three representatives from the Enguserosambu Forest Trust – Mark Talash, Nalaimuta Makeseni and Samwel Nangiria. Our Maasai guests arrived in Canada on April 28th. The first week was spent on Vancouver Island visiting representatives of the T’Sou-ke and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations. They also spent time visiting and participating in a skills workshop at UVic. A public presentation at the university was also included in their itinerary.
The second week was spent in Yukon visiting Selkirk, Kwanlen Dun and Carcross Tagish First Nations. Here they participated in in-depth discussions about maintaining their culture and the context and strategies for management of lands and resources. They were hosted to traditional dinners, engaged in games and dances, and were guided on tours in and around the communities. Another public event was held mid week in Whitehorse. It was a most beneficial and very enjoyable visit.
We are very grateful to the people in Victoria and Whitehorse who hosted the Maasai representatives in their homes during their stay – Alison and Garth Hastings [Victoria], Gillian McKee and Erik Val [Whitehorse] and Heather Alton and Lindsay staples [Whitehorse]. A very special thanks goes to two people who coordinated all the logistics for the public events – Alison Hastings [Victoria] and Gillian McKee [Whitehorse]. And another thanks to Alison and her daughter Alex who hosted the group on their layover in Vancouver before the long flights home.
The tour was the combined effort of the University of Victoria, the Kesho Trust and the Enguserosambu Forest Trust. We acknowledge the funing provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada under the Connections Grant program.
Nalaimuta, Mark and Samwel on Meares Island in the territory of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation.
Together with members of the Lands and Resources Department of the Selkirk First Nation in Pelly Crossing.
Outside the Learning Centre in Carcross with representatives of the Carcross Tagish First Nation.