Aboriginal Service Plan June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019

Excerpts from Year End Report

(ASAP Funding is managed by the Office of Indigenous Academic and Community  Engagement and received by the BC Govt – Ministry of Advanced Education )

Read the full ASP Report here: 


Project Name The UVic Community Living Lab Project.
Project Date(s) June 1 , 2018 to May 31st, 2019


Project Description Living Lab is a community-UVic-schools project connecting ecocultural restoration, science education and indigenous knowledge With 2018-2019 ASP funding, Living Lab grew the foundation and mobilized resources for a long-term regional place-based and Indigenous led eco-cultural restoration and experiential field program in the Capital Region.  The core First Nations communities were the WSANEC and the Songhees Nations. ASP funds were designed to support a community of practice (COP) model to support Indigenous learners; to support restoration projects, and to demonstrate Indigenous scientific and cultural knowledges.  These partnerships and practices are intended to bridge the gap between mainstream science paradigms and  indigenous culture and knowledge,  to transform the education systems and ultimately to support community priorities to restore the marine ecosystems and reefnet fishery.

 There are four main goals for Living Lab:

Restoration Support Community Eco-Cultural Restoration and Planning Projects

• Support community-driven eco-cultural restoration projects and planning in the Capital Region

Youth Engage, Support and Empower Youth

• Create skills and capacity building activities with and for youth in schools and community

Education Create Place-based Education and Learning Resources

• Organize ecosystem and science-based field trips and create resources that include indigenous knowledge and community priorities

Community of Practice – “a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly”

• Develop mutually supportive relationships among local First Nations, community/NGO’s, government, schools, and the University of Victoria

Measurements of Success



Upon reflection, success for Year One of the Living Lab ASP Project stemmed from focusing on, listening to and supporting community members in the WSANEC and Songhees Nation to develop their own eco-cultural restoration programs; developing collaborative relationships and a ‘community of practice’ between multi-sector community and academic partners who are not used to working together, and lastly co- developing learning resources and programs for schools and youth that bridge indigenous knowledge and community priorities with science and ecosystem curriculum. Indicators of success include attendance at community and schools events, participation of children and youth in hands-on activities, gaining the commitment of community and campus partners, creating new learning resources and communications tools (including websites etc); and increasing in-kind and financial investment in the project.

Examples of successes include:

The development of a Living Lab Songhees- WSANEC- UVIC core staff and faculty team with  CRD, schools and NGO partners.  The development of project plans, the website and longer range proposal development.

The successful grant from NSERC PromoScience for Living Lab 2019 and 2020. (this leveraged ASP funding)

The initiation of the Living Lab supported ȾIKEL Restoration Project on ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱ Tribal School  (LTS) grounds, field trip with ȽTS classes to Horticulture Centre of the Pacific, and the setup of wetland propogation area at PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ greenhouse.

Living Lab support for the  SṈIDȻEȽ Resiliency Project support since April 1 2019, ongoing restoration but with the new development of community stewardship by W̱SÁNEĆ members and volunteer days.

Living Lab UVic Gathering at First People’s House in January 2019 with co-presentation by Songhees and WSANEC leaders bridging the Reefnet Fishery with Marine Use Panning.

Songhees Living Lab Coordinator hired to support Songhees involvement, core Living Lab work and to be part of the UVic Archaeology field school on Songhees lands-islands. (May 2019)

(Excerpts  from Living Lab W̱SÁNEĆ Coordinator Judith Lyn Arney:

“ȾIKEL: I remember excited kids saying “look at how much we did!” after a restoration day, they are noticing the health returning to the landscape and the pile of broom and blackberry we removed. Impact for kids is pride and a sense of responsibility and connection to the land (Nick provides great context for them in this respect). Enviro impact takes more time to observe but removal of invasive species from section 1 in the original restoration plan has been COMPLETED. Yay!

-SNITCEL Resiliency Project: W̱SÁNEĆ stewards training in restoration methodologies, improving their skill sets and building environmental leadership within community. Enviro impact is the care of over 800 planted native plants and the nourishment of soils and native food ecosystems of this important W̱SÁNEĆ place.  “

Next Year:

In this coming year we will be inviting more Indigenous youth from the Regional schools and communities and the campus to join in our events and activities.

We will also be producing a newsletter and learning resources that benefit and are distributed- led by communities.

We will also create a longer-term strategic plan as ongoing staffing is critical for the community-driven projects and to balance our the demand from campus and non- First Nations partners for “access’ to community knowledge and time.

The focus remains the recovery of language, land and reefnet fishery-marine use planning within a Reconcili-Action and justice-rights framework.  A main focus is ACCESS by First Nations to – and recovery of – their own lands, waterways and food systems in this region, the restoration of the ecosystems using a science, policy and capacity building lens and the transformation of the educational systems in schools and campuses that reflects and builds First Nations knowledge and treaty- ancestral rights.




Living Lab aims to serve children and youth in communities and next year at UVic and Camosun as well. More outreach and public events/ workshops with the Friendship Centre is planned for next year but the priority for service is the local place-based communities.  For outreach the focus is the First Nations communities, the UVic campus and the broader public. We will start tracking use of our website and at each event we will continue to record numbers.

For 2018-2019 ASP funded Living Lab participants included:

Public/ Community Events:

35 broad public at Living Lab Reefnet Fishery Event Sept 2018;

85 at Songhees Community Living Lab Feast Sept 2018

55 at WSANEC – PEPAKEN HAUT’W Annual Traditional Foods- Schools Feast March 2019.

38 at UVic Living Lab Education and Networking Event- January 2019 at First People’s House

Schools and Youth:

–  12 Songhees Youth in Summer Camps and Fall Feast event. Currently hiring youth for Summer 2019 Programming

-18 First Nations regional youth (aged 14-18) in School District #61 Lands Program  (Living Lab ASP funded) Field Camp (June 2019)

-ȾIKEL Eco-Cultural Restoration Winter-Spring 2019: 50-60 ȽTS  (Lau Wel New Tribal School students,  5 Living Lab (staff) project members

-SNITCEL Resiliency Project: 2 dedicated W̱SÁNEĆ staff, multiple visiting classes from UVic and Camosun, 20 community volunteers, (currently deciding about schedule for 2 W̱SÁNEĆ youth over summer 2019)