School District #61 Lands Program Field School – June 2019

UVic Living Lab Project class

Living Lab supported 16 Grades 10-12 indigenous youth from Esquimalt and Spectrum High school with teachers Emma Milliken and Rachel Trebilco to hold a three day outdoors Field School, based in Goldstream Park and focused on indigenous land use, science and history in traditional WSANEC and Songhees territory.

Living Lab facilitators

UVic professor leads John Taylor (Biology), Nick Claxton (WSANEC – Child and Youth Care) and Darcy Mathews (Archaeology), along with Florence Dick ( Songhees-CRD), Maeve Lydon(Living Lab) and Tiffany Joseph ( SNIDCEL) enjoyed learning with the youth to show how science and culture  connect and matter. The group learned about  many dimensions of science, ecology and culture – about the WSANEC’s ongoing relationship to Gold stream, about the genetics of black and Kermode bears, about native plants  and their medicinal, food and practical uses.  There was also visit to a 5000 + year old village and defense site at Witty’s Lagoon where camas was cultivated and traded. The students learned about middens,  defensive trenches and different signs of land use and mostly how precious and profound this often ‘ buried’ history.  Darcy explained how pre-contact ( pre-1700’s) before disease, inter-tribal warfare and colonialism affected the Lekwungen, how most inlets from Wittys Lagoons along the regional peninsula had village, harvesting – and/ or defensive sites with thousands of people living there. Feedback from the youth to inform 2019-2020 plans include MORE hands on activities, conversation, and of course swimming!

Event Photos:

Lekwungen Territory-Wittys Lagoon – Archaeology with Darcy Mathews – June 2019

Nick Claxton (Right) and School District #61 Lands Program Youth – June 2019

John Taylor and Biology (The Kermode Bear) – Goldstream, June 2019

Darcy Mathews and Archaeology – Witty’s Lagoon, Lekwungen Territory

Lands Program – Swimming at Goldstream Falls – June 2019