Shannon McPhail     

Instead of putting energy into fighting each other we can use all this energy to build good things.

Tell us about your work in your community

An organizer, campaigner, innovator, farmer, ass-kicker, connector, executive director of a non-profit, community convener, unsolicited and solicited advice giver, grassroots campaign instructor, cliff jumper, connecting people to land, to each-other and to culture, trail builder, matchmaker, troubleshooter, media & government relations person.

Tell us a story about a time you brought people together to improve your community.

I'm always in the midst of this very thing. Most recently reached out to a person that organized pro-LNG rallies (I organize pro-salmon rallies and fight against LNG) and despite all the shots fired, asked her to work with us to support the kinds of economic development we can all get behind.  Instead of putting energy into fighting each other we can use all this energy to build good things. We still disagree about, LNG but that doesn't mean we can't be good neighbours.

What problems are you trying to solve?

Trying to help improve conditions in my community so my children and grandchildren as well as their friends, have a better future.

What do you need to learn how to do in order to solve that?

I want to learn how to cultivate a sustainable economic future from a sustainable environment rooted in our culture and a thriving wild salmon ecosystem.

What is the most powerful question you need to ask right now?

How can people who are deeply divided come together to build the kind of economy we can get behind?

If we all worked together, what do you imagine that we could achieve in the next five to ten years?

I believe in the Gitxsan principle of Gwalx Ye’insxwtis. My understanding is that it’s a deep and broad principle that encompasses the traditional inheritance that is actively handed down from generation to generation through the relationships of families and territories. In brief, with reference to the land, culture and knowledge, it has been described as the actions which respect future generations’ right to all that we have inherited: the land, waters, mountains, all the life on the land, in the air and in the waters, our history, our culture, our skills and knowledge to live in this place, our spirituality, the tangible and the intangible and the experience of all this passing from one generation to the next, never extinguishing or diminishing in value. This includes a thriving, resilient economy entrenched in that same principle.