Tl’Ches (Little Chatham Is) 2018

An incredible and unforgettable day.  Standing in the circle around an ancient longhouse foundation with Elder Lyall, whose direct ancestors lived on the Islands, sharing his knowledge with the youth. Having Chief Ron Sam and his family,  Cheryl Bryce, Charlotte Charlie, and other Songhees Nation members, and guests together on the land supporting each other created a beautiful day. Imagining the Reefnet fishery happening alongside the village and learning about the willow (still there) and local technologies to create the nets and hooks was so much more powerful standing on the land right where it would have been happening thousands of years ago.  Hearing about current ecocultural restoration efforts on the land and water helped round out the learning – reminding us that life carries on and there is valuable and enjoyable work to do today.

It was an honor to hear Lyall sharing his memories and stories about traditional fishing and the need to remember history and why it is key to healing and decolonization.

Thank you Rayn and Frankie for your coordination – along with Cynthia and Linda ( all SAYL Living Lab summer interns)  The team are doing a great job supported by other SAYL members. Oh yes, the gelato ice cream was also amazing to top off the day….

Youth in the best classroom
Archaeologist Darcy Mathews sharing his passion about Tl’Chess’ amazing capacity as a classroom
Learning and sharing out on the land
A wonderful group of people sharing an amazing day on Tl’Ches, August 2018
Learning about traditional foods, native plants, and invasive species from knowledge holder Cheryl Bryce
Standing around an ancient longhouse foundation with Songhees youth, researchers and Songhees knowledge holders.

Low Tide Exploration

Clover Point features a unique rocky beach plentiful in interesting species best seen during a low tide. On July 24, we visited the area to learn about the intertidal zone. We examined and photographed creatures such as urchins, clingfish, and chitons,

We were even lucky enough to witness whales passing by in the Salish Sea.

Learning about intertidal marine biodiversity with UVic Living Lab and Songhees youth on traditional Lekwungen territory
Sometimes, intertidal biodiversity and smartphones can go (literally) hand-in-hand. Here we see one of our Living Lab coordinators and a Songhees Academic Youth Leadership (SAYL) student snapping pictures of tide pool marine life at Clover Point
Marine biodiversity and ecocultural learning with Songhees youth on traditional Lekwungen territory
John Taylor, one of our Living Lab coordinators, points out some of the interesting inhabitants of the Salish Sea’s shoreline.
Marine biodiversity (chiton) and ecocultural learning with Songhees youth on traditional Lekwungen territory Clover point
Clover point is home to a wide variety of marine biodiversity. The animal in this photo is the yellow-orange underside of a chiton – a mollusc that uses a powerful ‘foot’ and hard shell to protect itself and thrive in the intertidal zone
Marine biodiversity, water quality and ecocultural learning with Songhees youth at Clover Point, a traditional Lekwungen territory
On the algae-covered intertidal zone of Clover Point, we had a chance to explore some of the diverse biology that makes the Salish Sea so unique

Tl’Ches (Little Chatham Is) 2017

Songhees Academic Youth Leadership

On July 6, we took a trip to THLCHESS (Chatham) Island, part of the ancestral territory of the Songhees, and learned about some of the histories of life there. We collected water samples for the lab, learned about map coordinates and scientific data collection, and examined some marine animals. For many of us, including Songhees youth, it was our first opportunity to visit this culturally significant place.

Exploring Chatham Island traditional Lekwungen territory with Songhees Academic Youth Leadership high school students, part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning of LivingLab - made possible by PromoScience and the Horner Foundation
After reaching the island, we took to exploring the beautiful shoreline of THLCHESS
Species identification and ecocultural learning on THLCHESS island in the CRD area, with Songhees Academic Youth Leadership, part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning of LivingLab - made possible by PromoScience and the Horner Foundation
During our trip, SAYL students identified some of the unique marine species in the CRD area
Taking pictures of Chatham island with high school youth for ecocultural learning on traditional Lekwungen Territory, including marine biodiversity and species identification with Songhees academic youth leadership, part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning of LivingLab - made possible by PromoScience and the Horner Foundation. Other cultural learning included the history of the CRD area such as traditional foods.
When we could, we snapped pictures of the area while we explored the island and its eco-cultural significance. Place-based learning is important in culturally-significant places such as THLCHESS, as it allows us to learn about the history of the area in a diverse inter-disciplinary manner.
Identifying intertidal marine biodiversity with local Songhees academic youth leadership on THLCHESS (Chatham) island, part of the CRD area, to foster ecocultural learning. This is part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning of LivingLab - made possible by PromoScience and the Horner Foundation. Other cultural learning included the history of the CRD area such as traditional foods.
Here’s another example of the interesting local intertidal species we got to learn about, as part of the inter-disciplinary focus of our trip!
Learning about geography of Chatham island and local Songhees First Nation territory. The island has cultural and ecological significance, which were able to explore through ecocultural learning - part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning of LivingLab. This trip was made possible by PromoScience and the Horner Foundation. Other cultural learning included the history of the CRD area such as traditional foods.
We were also able to see the geography of the surrounding islands, and learn GPS and mapping skills in the process
Learning about history of ancestral THLCHESS Island from the Songhees Nation. We experienced ecocultural learning and of the cultural significance of the area through land-based education on traditional Lekwungen territory. This trip was with Songhees Academic Youth Leadership Students, part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning of LivingLab - made possible by PromoScience and the Horner Foundation. Other cultural learning included the history of the CRD area such as traditional foods.
We were fortunate enough to learn about the history of THLCHESS island from representatives of the Songhees Nation: Cheryl Bryce and Lyle Henry.
Heading back from eco-cultural learning at THLCHESS Island with the Songhees Nation, exploring life histories and intertidal biodiversity in the CRD. This trip was with Songhees Academic Youth Leadership, part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning of LivingLab - made possible by PromoScience and the Horner Foundation. Other cultural learning included the history of the CRD area such as traditional foods.
After a long and beautiful summer’s day, we made our way back from THLCHESS. Thank you to everyone involved in this trip that made the experience a success!