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Trapping with an elder: youth from Pinehouse use photography to preserve and connect with first nati

Both 12 years of age, friends Jaredan Smith and Caleb Smith from the Pinehouse Photography Club, join elder Donald Boyd while he checks on his snares near Pinehouse Lake. Donald Boyd, 61 years of age says he has been trapping since he was 20. "It was taught to me by my parents and "it's a way of life for me" Boyd says, " I usually set my snares and then go check them every 3-4 days".

Boyd uses the rabbits and what he catches to feed his family, friends and elders. "It has been a part of our culture for thousands of years...to live off the land and share with others", Boyd.

An important part of trapping and hunting is sharing with other people from the community. "When someone has food, everyone shares".

Connecting youth with culture: "we wanted to help youth connect with traditional ways of life, by using photography," says Erwin "By taking pictures, not only do the youth have the opportunity to experience things they might not see everyday, but they are able to create something that will help preserve tradition that might be lost with time" Erwin. Boyd eagerly invited the youth to join him as he went to check on approx 50 snares and traps he set out.

"It gives us more appreciation and respect for our culture" Jaredan Smith

During there walk, the group found a rabbit still alive in a snare. "I have only seen this happen once before" says Jaredan, " But I have never seen a live rabbit caught before." During their excursion through a dim lit trail about a km long, the youth were able to find 3 rabbits caught by snares, one of them was still alive. "It was shocking to see how the rabbits were killed" says Celeb, as they witnessed Boyd quickly kill the rabbit. "It's a part of our culture, sometimes the rabbits or animals are still alive and have to be killed", Boyd.

"It was a lot of fun" says Caleb. "I can't wait to go out again!". It was "really enjoyable. We were able to get outside, get some exercise, take pictures and be able to be a part of this!" Jaredan. "I want to get more youth from the club involved" Jaredan.

The Pinehouse Photography Club uses therapeutic photography to help youth talk about mental health. The club also uses the knowledge of photography to help youth connect with cultural experiences. "Kids have more of a purpose to go out and take pictures. They connect with elders and traditional ways of life while preserving those memories and moments forever," Erwin. "We find youth happier when they feel as sense of belonging," says Erwin "It feels good to be a part of this and be able to help by taking pictures," says Charlene Halkett, club member, "it helps us connect with tradition".

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