Yohetta Youth Gathering

The 2023 Dasiqox-Nexwagwezʔan summer ‘Back on the Land’ program (BOTL) was a huge success and we wanted to create a video that showcases some of the amazing adventures our youth were able to experience on the land this summer. The BOTL team, made up of Trevor Mack, Heather Cherisse Elkins, and Sierra William, managed to plan and execute a large gathering with over 30 youth of various ages in a remote area of the traditional territory of the Tsilhqot’in people, located in the interior of B.C., Canada. Tsilhqot’in youth are vibrant, creative and hardworking young people and we had great pleasure in creating opportunities for fun and cultural learning. Enjoy this summary of the kayak racing, games, knowledge sharing, and crafting.

Nexwesechenalyagh (thank you) to all of the elders and knowledge keepers who joined us on this trip and graciously provided meaningful learning experiences and workshops for youth including a medicine walk. Thank you to the BOTL coordinators, Trevor Mack, Heather Cherisse Elkins, and Sierra William, for their amazing work in organizing this event, and the associated organizations such as Tsilqot’in National Government (TNG), The Xeni Gwet’in Government, the Yunesit’in Government, Denisiqi, and the individuals who freely volunteered their time. Thank you to our videographer Niall Hart who created this amazing video for us!

We hope to have many more successful events that allow youth to learn about how to build relationships with the land, knowledge keepers, and cultural practices that have been lost over time. BOTL is an integral aspect of Dasiqox-Nexwagwezʔan and we cannot wait for more opportunities like this.



Red Mountain Trek


Ts’ilʔos Ceremonial Offering Trek

“Nexwesechanalyagh for the support from Dasiqox-Nexwagwezʔan, leadership of Xeni Gwet’in & Yunesit’in, the elders of Xeni, and our expedition team for the life-changing and enduring journey of climbing 4,000ft to the base of Ts’ilos in order to bring sacred offerings in return for his water.

Our scouting trip was, all together, 8,000ft in 4 days for roughly 30km. We sang, we learned, we saw some grizzlies, and we were in absolute awe of the land around us.

Brian Finnie was our guide, who helped plan the route we took and led us through a huge diversity of lush meadowlands, sun-stricken alpine all the way to the rocky base of the sacred mountain.

Roger William, in his first-ever type of expedition, carried 40 lbs on his back for the entire trip, and helped Brian lead us through the lands he once rode on by horse. It was an honour to learn the language from you as we created the journey’s song together.

Heather Cherisse Elkins, in her first ever expedition, pushed through the difficult heat, pack weight, and bugs – only to keep us grounded by guiding us through yoga and stretches nearly every day.

We came into the valley singing our song we created on the way that tells the story of the amazing journey we had.
We offered sage from Nagwentled, sweetgrass from the Prairies, juniper from Xeni Gwet’in and Tl’etinqox and cedar from Coast Salish territories as well as tobacco from Guatemala in return for the Dadaben Tu that Ts’ilʔos gives to the world.

Once we reached the Sitax center an impromptu welcoming occurred, where we were able to share our song and our journey to the various youth who just happened to be there at around 11pm at night. We then poured the ceremonial water into cups and all drank it together.

This vision originated through a combination of being brought down to the glaciers at the bottom of Tsilhqox Biny while supporting ceremony at the Ts’utanchuny Dadabeni Camp, asking Keith Koepke where the perfect place to bring the youth would be, Heather’s ideas and passion about leading the youth back onto the land, and my travels in Mexico where Edmond Faubert taught me about the various ceremonial treks the Tarahumara indigenous people have to honour and give thanks to their mountain spirits. This vision was then discussed with Dasiqox Tribal Park, Xeni Gwet’in & Yunesit’in leadership, and then we asked permission at the Xeni Gwet’in General Assembly in May.

We are planning the inaugural trip to bring youth up and bring our nation together through our connection to water.
We are envisioning a scenario where the elders of the nation are requesting the youth to bring up their offerings to the mountain spirit — building upon the elder-youth connections we’ve seen flourish on the Xeni wagon trips and nation gatherings.”

Trevor Mack, Dasiqox ‘Back on the Land’ (BOTL) Coordinator