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Salish Sea Emerging Stewards program

For over 15 years, as guests of the Heiltsuk Nation, Raincoast staff scientists have supported the development of local youth as future stewards of the environment at a yearly kids camp. We count many previous participants as friends, colleagues and our own teachers. Importantly, the concept of consilience, blending different types of learning and ways of knowing, recognizes the value of Indigenous knowledge that we blend with our own methods. This concept of consilience sits at the heart of our Salish Sea Emerging Stewards program.

Raincoast’s Emerging Stewards program is designed to help inspire a new generation of conservation leaders in the Salish Sea. We connect local youth with Raincoast scientists and Salish Sea Indigenous knowledge holders through a variety of nature-based experiential learning activities. Field and class visits lead up to the program’s centrepiece where our research vessel Achiever serves as a floating classroom. We visit ancient midden sites, learn about marine mammal identification as we sail through their habitat and play games that teach key ecological concepts – like predator-prey dynamics – which are directly relevant to conservation issues in the Salish Sea and local communities.

We’ve worked with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, WŚANÉC Leadership School, and the Cowichan School district to develop the program, as well as groups supporting youth in need of extra support including the Take a Hike Foundation and the Urban Native Youth Association.

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The light of the sun streams in between the trees on UVic campus.

The Salish Sea Emerging Stewards kick off

We’re very excited to be kicking off the Salish Sea Emerging Stewards Program this week with youth from the Indigenous Leadership program and other youth from the Cowichan School District. We’re in the first phase of our new three part ...
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A youth participant of the Salish Sea Emerging Stewardship program has a solo sit at Monarch head for reflection and mindfulness.

Inspiring the next generation of Salish Sea stewards

Ask any environmental leader and they can likely tell you about an experience with nature, often from a young age, that inspired them to stand up for the environment. These special relationships fuel the desire to protect it when it ...
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A clear day in Active Pass.

Getting the next generation of Salish Sea stewards back to school

As scientists we are constantly learning. We learn from each other, our Indigenous partners, the wildlife we study and the youth we engage. For over 15 years, as guests of the Heiltsuk Nation, Raincoast staff scientists have supported the development ...
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