Xeni Gwet'in FNCommunity: The Xeni Gwet'in people are one of six Tsilhqot’in ("The River People") communities. Each has an elected local government. Approximately three hundred Xeni Gwet’in live in the Nemiah Valley area. A road was built into the valley in the early nineteen seventies. Fiercely independent, the Xeni Gwet’in are carefully planning the wise management of their Caretaker Area following a partially successful court case for rights and title. They are developing an eco-system based forest management model, an Access Management Plan, and eco-tourism initiatives that will include cultural experiences and wildlife viewing. They have declared much of their territory a protected area, designating it the Aboriginal Wilderness Preserve (1989) and the ?Elegesi Qayus Wild Horse Preserve (2002).
Language: A few years ago Friends of the Nemaiah Valley were instrumental in bringing the FirstVoices Program into the valley. FirstVoices is a suite of web-based tools and services designed to support Aboriginal people engaged in language archiving, language teaching & culture revitalization.
A local committee of educators, the Jeni Huten Committee, was formed. They enthusiastically endorsed and supported this provincial program that has proved so effective at preserving and reinvigorating native languages in many areas of the province. Peter Brand, the visionary provincial director of the program, tells me that of all the communities he has visited around the province, none has a more intact and functioning culture than the Nemiah Valley Xeni Gwet'in. Listen and learn some of the Tsilhqot'in (Xeni Gwet'in) langauge HERE.
In 2013 a new language app for the Xeni Gwet'in language for iPhone, iPad and iTouch became available as a free download from iTunes......a great opportunity to learn some basic words and phrases. XGFN APP.
Much has been written about the Nemaiah Valley and the Xeni Gwet'in people. In 1992, New Star Books published "Nemiah: The Unconquered Country" by Terry Glavin.
"Nemiah: Home of the Xeni Gwet'in" was published by the David Suzuki Foundation in 2000.
The people and the wild horses have also been the subject of innumerable magazine articles and film/videos, including, "Wild Horses, Unconquered People" in 2003. Trailer HERE. Copies of the DVD are available from FONV for a suggested donation of $20.00.