SpruceRoots Magazine - July, 1999

Takakia Lake Hearings

On June 9 and 10 hearings were held to inquire into the Water Licence application by Queen Charlotte Power Corporation to divert water from Takakia Lake. On June 9 at Skidegate Hall about 50 people turned out to witness and voice their opinions about the licence. Chiefs of the Haida Nation spoke to the issue as did representatives of the Skidegate Language Program. Individuals from all Island communities addressed the inquiry and entered their opinions in writing to the record. Following is the paper presented by Jennifer White, of Queen Charlotte.

Takakia Lake
I first saw a picture of Takakia Lake in 1980. I was enchanted and intrigued by this picture. My husband Duncan and I decided that if there were a way and a means, we would make our way to that lake.

After some bargaining, we convinced Trans Provincial Airlines to drop us with friends for a three-night camping trip and hiking expedition. The lake is small, easier to fly into than out of, so we had quite a plan for taking our gear and the five of us out in two trips. (Dropping a few of us at Moresby Lake and coming back for the rest.)

Flying into that lake has been one of the most special experiences of my life. I remember all of us being overwhelmed at the beauty of the lake and surrounding alpine country. It was like we had been transported to another place - a Shangri-La- "a remote beautiful imaginary place where life approaches perfection." Shangri-La was the word that kept coming up as we landed and taxied to the beautiful treed spot at the end of the lake.

We spent three wonderful days there. Rainy at times, yet from our base camp at the end of the lake we could scramble up into the alpine within 30 minutes. We hiked, we laughed, and we filled our hearts and souls with the beauty of this special place. We were lucky to have Marlene Specht along, a botanist and plant lover. She spent time teaching us and finding plants ... some of which she was seeing for the first time.

A plane returned for us, the pilot piled us all in and said, "Oh, we'll try getting a lift off before the end of the lake and waterfall cliff at the end." - scary, you bet! And we made it safely home.

Takakia Lake; I know it's remote, a hard hike and climb if you're going to see the lake under your own steam and a few hundred bucks if you're having someone fly you there. But, it should be saved so others can have the special experience I had.

The poet Yeas perhaps said it best:
"I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core."

When one comes back to the reality of home, and town, and job, and the everyday struggle, the "gray pavement" kinds of chores that take a good part of our lives. May each of you, and all of us here, have some special memory of a beautiful, natural, untouched place that we can carry deep in our heart's core. Please, consider carefully your decisions aroundgranting the QC Power Corporation's application to drain Takakia Lake. My recommendation is against you doing so.

Respectfully submitted,
Jennifer White,
Queen Charlotte

More information on Takakia Lake

drain the lake and dam the consequences by Kathy Pick

Takakia Lake information

Takakia Lake - there is a place of extraordinary beauty

SpruceRoots Magazine - July, 1999