skip to main content

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.

You can join us and support the Salish Sea Emerging Stewards program.

Support the program 

Sponsors & supporters

A mashup of images and profile photos from the Coastal Insights series episodes.

Coastal Insights online education series about nature, people, and place is now complete and available

The pandemic has impacted our lives in many ways, particularly with regard to learning in schools and experiential programming. Teachers have had to fast-track their technological skills and shift from their regular face to face connections with students to engaging ...
Read more
Roe Lake on North Pender, on a blue sky day.

Protecting the evergreen giants at the edge of the sea

The rainshadow region, extending across the southeastern coast of Vancouver Island from Metchosin to Deep Bay; covering the Gulf Islands, and reaching the Sunshine Coast, has been subject to rampant land conversion—by some estimates up to 50%. Agricultural and industrial ...
Read more
Tyler Jessen helps some young Salish Sea Emerging Stewards on campus to examine a remote sensing device.

Collaborating with the next generation

As I walk onto campus at the University of Victoria, I am surrounded by the hustle and bustle of students scurrying off to their classes. For the students, their familiarity with the area makes their travel effortless as they weave ...
Read more
Bighouse in the Kvai watershed.

The best summer camp on earth?

Our research and outreach vessel, Achiever, just returned from one of the most inspiring trips of the year. Let me explain why. Situated at the mouth of an unlogged watershed, Koeye camp is what I believe to be the best ...
Read more
Kloey and her mom, Vernadean, from Cowichan Secondary, SD79, in Duncan.

Salish Sea Emerging Stewards celebration

We recently closed our third season of Raincoast’s Salish Sea Emerging Stewards program with a new addition to the program - an event to connect, reflect and celebrate our precious coastline. People of all ages and backgrounds joined in the ...
Read more
Students aboard Achiever, cluster around the bow on the Salish Sea.

Creating transformative experiences for students on the Salish Sea

Passengers of all ages aboard Achiever have experienced awe, belonging, and even transcendence while communing with nature. People are transported beyond their everyday life and often report having a sense of deep harmony with something bigger. These experiences are transformative ...
Read more
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 ...
Read more
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 ...
Read more