Coastal Insights: Eyes on the Coast (Season 2)

Photo by Alex Harris /
Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

Join Raincoast for season 2 of our Coastal Insights online learning series. This season, we are collaborating with our First Nations partners to bring you a new and fascinating online learning experience that takes a “two eyed seeing” approach to understanding British Columbia’s coast and conservation challenges weaving together the strengths of Indigenous and Western knowledge systems to understand nature.

Each month, we hosted two live and interactive virtual programs for students that will bring science, stories, culture, and conservation through virtual lessons and spotlight interviews with some of the coast’s leading experts and inspiring young leaders. 

Themes include combining different types of knowledge, coastal ecology, Indigenous resource management practices, biodiversity, conservation, and more. The program’s content supports BC’s curriculum in the areas of science, social studies and geography and is geared towards grade 4-12.

#1: Lesson – Welcome to the Salish Sea

Wednesday, February 10, 2021
1:00 pm Pacific
Live on camera available spots: 0

Hosts

Peter Underwood
Maureen Vo

Join us on an adventure to explore the Salish Sea, one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest inland seas. Hosts and conservationists Maureen Vo and Peter Underwood will take you on an exciting journey into the region’s rich biodiversity using different lenses to examine Indigenous culture and conservation issues in and around the Salish Sea. 

Teacher resource #1 (PDF)

#2: Spotlight: Why Blending Indigenous and Western Knowledge systems is vital to inform and fuel conservation

Elder T’it’elem Spath, Eddie Gardner, a member of Skwah First Nation. Photo by Michael O. Snyder.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021
1:00 pm Pacific
Live on camera available spots: 0

Feature guests

Albert Marshall (Elder and Honorary Doctorate of the Mi’kmaq Nation)

Andrea Jane Reid (Assistant Professor of Indigenous Fisheries Science at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries)

Indigenous knowledge has existed and sustained the ecosystems on the coast of British Columbia for millennia. Drawing upon multiple types of knowledge (e.g. Indigenous Knowledge, local-knowledge, science-based knowledge) can strengthen understanding of the past, predict the future of systems and improve conservation and resource management. Join as we visit with the creator of the “two-eyed seeing”  concept and examine how this concept is being used by local scientists in contemporary conservation science.

Teacher resource #2 (PDF)

#3: Lesson: Salmon as a keystone species on the coast

Photo by Fernando Lessa.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021
1:00 pm Pacific
Available spots: 0

Salmon are an icon of coastal BC and considered a foundation species. A ‘foundation’ species is different from the more familiar term keystone species. A keystone species has an influence on its environment that is disproportionate to its abundance. Like the keystone in a masonry arch, its removal can have a strong effect on the surrounding community. In the Pacific northwest, species like sea stars, sea otters, and wolves are considered keystone species.

A foundation species, on the other hand, is important because of the role it plays due to its sheer biomass in the ecosystem, and the strong influence this has on structuring a community. Foundation species support ecosystem structure, process and organisms from the bottom up. Foundation species can be plants or animals with many species relying on them, but not disproportionately to their abundance, it’s because of their abundance. On the Pacific Northwest coast, the collective group of salmon species (chum, pink, etc), herring, and giant kelp would be examples of foundation species.

Teacher resource #3 (PDF)

#4: Spotlight: Harvesting techniques and technologies: past, present and future

Wednesday, March 24, 2021
1:00 pm Pacific
Live on camera available spots: 0

Feature Guests

Howard Humchitt is a member of the Heiltsuk First Nation currently living in Bella Bella, BC.  He comes from a long line of hunters and fishers and started at a young age learning about the importance of seasons and hunting. For the past 12 years, Howard has been involved as a Raincoast team member, helping to conduct non-invasive bear research in the Great Bear Rainforest.

Sarah Jim is an emerging artist of mixed ancestry and is a member of the W̱SÁNEĆ nation from the Tseycum village. She holds a BFA from UVIC and conducts environmental restoration on her ancestral territory. Creating place-based artwork of her homelands and waters allows her to educate others about the importance of native plant food systems and coastal medicines in relation to the ecosystem and W̱SÁNEĆ culture.

Harvesting activities such as hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering wild plants have been part of Indigenous peoples’ ways of living for millennia. Indigenous Harvesting methods and practices have successfully sustained these systems for millennia. This spotlight will take a closer look at some of the technologies and techniques used and how they can inform us about key ecological concepts and species conservation while providing a framework for sustainable resource management.

Teacher resource #4 (PDF)

#5: Lesson: Protecting our coast: Conservation in action

Wednesday, April 7, 2021
1:00 pm Pacific
Live on camera available spots: 2

Special appearances

Misty MacDuffee ( Raincoast Wild Salmon Program Director)

Dave Scott (Raincoast Lower Fraser Salmon Program Research and Restoration Coordinator) and 

Shauna Doll (Raincoast Gulf Islands Forest Project Coordinator)

BC’s coast holds enormous ecological, cultural and economical significance for wildlife, their habitats, and the communities throughout its range and beyond. Protecting these ecosystems is vital to the survival and livelihood of future generations. Join us as we look at key conservation issues facing wildlife and their habitat along BC’s coast. The lesson will also discuss how we can take action to protect and sustain the Salish Sea.

Teacher resource #5 (PDF)

#6: Spotlight: Guardians of the Coast: The next generation of stewards

Wednesday, April 21, 2021
1:00 pm Pacific
Live on camera available spots: 2

Feature Guests

Mercedes Robinson grew up in her home territory of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nation alongside grizzlies, black bears and spirit bears in the Great Bear Rainforest on the Central Coast of British Columbia. At the age of 19, Mercedes has already interned with the Spirit Bear Research Foundation conducting non-invasive bear research, guided international tourists at the world-renowned Spirit Bear Lodge and was featured in the Great Bear Rainforest IMAX movie that has been viewed by audiences around the world.

Robin Buss is from the Hwlitsum First Nation and an honourary member of the Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN), a community in which she grew up. Growing up in TFN territory has allowed Robin to immerse in her culture through ceremonies, community gatherings and fishing with family. More recently, Robin has realized her passion for stewardship and the importance of cultural connections to place which led her to work with Raincoast and help pilot and lead a local TFN youth stewardship program on TFN territory. 

Youth all over the world are increasingly stepping up and voicing their concerns about the urgent need to address anthropogenic impacts in nature. In this session, we will be joined by some of the inspiring young leaders who are taking action in their communities to sustain and protect the coast. 

Teacher Resource #6 (PDF)

Season 1

Coastal insights, Season 1