Learning by the Sea provides First Nations youth and non-aboriginal youth with opportunities to learn about traditional practices of shellfish harvesting and clam garden construction, maintenance and use. This collaborative project between Hul’q’umi’num and WSÁNEĆ First Nations, Northwest Indian College, NSERC PromoScience, Parks Canada, Royal Roads University, School District 79, and the WSÁNEĆ School Board, embraces the spirit of clam gardens as places of learning.
In the summer of 2014, we began a science and culture camp program in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve to provide First Nations youth with opportunities to work with, and learn from, community Elders and other knowledge holders, as well as scientists engaged in clam garden studies. In addition to the summer camps, we have been working with educators at the Outdoor Council of Canada, School District 79, and the University of British Columbia to develop a clam garden lesson plan that is compatible with the revised B.C. High School Social Studies and Science curriculums and learning standards. We also coordinated a Community Celebration and Information Night about clam gardens at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney, B.C. At this event, knowledge holders and western scientists spoke about clam gardens and attendees were treated to local seafoods and the debut of a short film about the 2014 science and culture camps.