Students from Phoenix Place and GISS visited W̱ EN,NÁ,NEĆ (pronounced ‘kwaneenech’, meaning facing toward Saanich’, and located on Tsawout land near Fulford Village on Salt Spring Island. They explored the ecology of Forest & Sea and Indigenous knowledge.
Below are student reflections based on these questions:
- what did you like most? (what was the highlight for you)
- would you like to have this sort of learning more regularly? (and why)
- how would you improve a trip like this? (please explain)
Hayley Baines: I loved the most being at the beach, exploring and learning. I learn better outdoors, so I would like to see more of this type of classes happening. It would be nice to have more field guides and foldouts.
Kate Bucknum: I had a blast on the trip. I liked that we got to see that particular part of the island because it had a thriving ecosystem and I got to see how all the plants and animals worked together to live a strong and healthy life. The forest looked how I imagine the forest looked before the Europeans got to the island… minus the invasive species and the huge trees…but other then that it was perfect. The beach was awesome too. I got to see lots of little critters and some big ones too. There were clam beds with the clams squirting water all over the place. There was a goose nest on one of the outcroppings of rocks. At one point when we were gathered at the top of the beach just hanging out, two deer walked out of the forest and to the shore to eat some seaweed. It was magical, just magical. I loved this field trip so much…it was perfect. And I thank everyone who put it together.
Jasper Garratt: It was a lot of fun; I liked that we split the time between forest and the beach; the place was wonderful. Yes I would like more of ese classes. it is very helpful to learn about plants in the area where we live, as survival skills. Next time we can go to another place to do more discoveries.
Marie Hardisty: My highlight from this trip was looking into the marine and being able to be on the beach in the hot sun and exploring different marine creatures. I definitely learned a lot by this!
I would like to have this learning more regularly because it’s a great way to get out and experience a lot of fun things.
One thing I would improve on this trip is for everybody to feel more connected with each other and individually. It would make the group you’re with a lot more to look forward to. (-:
Asia Harris: During the Thursday field trip to the Native forest and beach, I experienced the natural habitat of this sacred land . We saw ocean life in a deeper and wider perspective, and learned about different plants and trees as well as the elements of the forest Eco cycle. I had a wonderful time learning about the aboriginal people on the west coast, what they valued and found sacred.
Lily Lamb: I loved everything about the trip; I really cannot pick up one thing. Yes, I would love more trips like this; it is really good to get outdoors and learn that way instead of sitting in a class with people talking and talking at you.
Zoe Lardiere: A highlight for me from this trip was being able to spend the day outside in that beautiful place, and exploring the beach with other students and asking questions about the things that we discovered, then trying to find the answers in field guides and from each other. I definitely think this sort of thing should happen more often, it’s important to have knowledge and an understanding about the natural world around us, and to keep this knowledge alive. Not enough kids get to experience what it’s like to be comfortable outdoors in nature.
Student reflections and photos (below) submitted by Mar Martínez de Saavedra Álvarez, Aboriginal Ed Support Teacher: