Living Lab at Concordia

Crossposted from The University of Concordia. 

Indigenous youth, students and researchers gather for an empowering 5-day Concordia summer institute.

‘We are coming together to share our cultures, be visible and make some noise’
June 21, 2023

Youth from more than 10 Indigenous nations recently came together on Concordia’s Sir George Williams Campus as well as on the land in Kahnawá:ke for a unique summer institute.

The summer institute, called Pathways of Indigenous Youth, provided participants with an inspiring week of dialogue, learning, sharing of cultural knowledge, craft-making and collaboration focused on empowering the next generation.


Desiree Jones

Reflections by W̱SÁNEĆ  –  Lummi Nation Member 
Desiree Jones

Breaking colonial boundaries and creating space to be back out on our traditional homelands is an approach to foster healing and reconciliation into existence; through this we can also reconnect with our relatives who reside across those border boundaries, as well as reconnecting and becoming familiar with the land that our ancestors often resided on and held knowledge of. Recently I had the opportunity to go to W̱ȾȺ,EMEṈ with the W̱SÁNEĆ Secondary School, Living Lab, White Swan Environmental, as well as Western Washington University. By bringing our W̱SÁNEĆ and Lummi communities together we were able to share songs, stories, and language, all of which are a direct connection to our ĆELAṈEN — our past, our identities, and our ancestors.

These aspects alone play a vital role within the healing and mending of these connections that we hold as First Nations. Through this experience I was able to create many connections not only with our SĆÁLEĆE, but also with the land and my history as a W̱SÁNEĆ woman, and continuing to create opportunities such as this for the youth and future generations is a testimony to our resilience which can dismantle the barriers that were placed upon us by colonialism. W̱ȾȺ,EMEṈ will not only hold a place in my heart, but also the youth who will be the future generations to keep carrying on our traditions of getting out to our ṮEṮÁĆES.”


ByDesiree Jones, W̱SÁNEĆ and Lummi Nation. W̱SÁNEĆ School Board Senior Language Apprentice and Living Lab – WSB staff  liaison

Community Celebration on Monday, April 17, 2023

Living Lab celebrated its Community Celebration on Monday, April 17, 2023, with around 50 network partners attending the First People’s House at the University of Victoria. The event marked the first in-person gathering since February 2020, where attendees were welcomed with tea, snacks, and an opening speech by Butch Dick, an Indigenous Elder and education leader from the Songhees Nation. He spoke about returning to outdoor and land-marine-based learning and creating positive community and climate action-accredited programs rooted in awareness and respect for Indigenous stewardship, knowledge, laws, and sovereignty. 


Other speakers and visual presentations shared updates and priorities, including Living Lab’s commitment to supporting front-line land-based learning practices in regional communities and schools, collaboration with ṮEṮÁĆES/The Salish Sea, and a new community-led research and policy program to support community supports and system changes. In addition, the Living Lab’s umbrella regional partners from PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱, W̱SÁNEĆ School Board and SD # 61 Indigenous Education shared their visions and upcoming projects.

Click on the Report for a more detailed list of speakers, pictures, and update on our partner’s programs.

Thank you to all of our supporters and funders.