Heritage and Habitat: Quw’utsun Family's Ancestral Journey of Restoration and Sharing Knowledge

Transition Salt Spring is excited to announce an upcoming online webinar titled, "Climate, Culture, Land: Cultivating Community Resilience through Indigenous Approaches." This event will take place on Tuesday, June 18th at 7:00 PM (PST) and aims to raise funds for the Stqeeye' Learning Society.

During the webinar, attendees will hear from Sulsameethl (Deb George) and her granddaughter Sulatiye’ (Maiya Modeste). They will share the inspiring restoration projects at Xwaaqw’um, where traditional knowledge is passed down through vibrant land-based learning programs. They will delve into the rich history of the Quw’utsun (Cowichan) in Xwaaqw'um (Burgoyne Bay), the multigenerational impact of being expelled from their territory after contact, and the journey that led to a return to the land of their ancestors. You will also have a chance to hear about a serendipitous opportunity to acquire a 10-acre sanctuary.

A Journey of Restoration

The Stqeeye’ Learning Society’s initiatives at Xwaaqw’um are a testament to the power of Indigenous-led environmental stewardship. These efforts are not just about ecological restoration but also about reviving the spiritual connection between the Quw’utsun people and their ancestral land.

Key components of the restoration efforts include:

Invasive Species Management: The careful removal of harmful plants like Scotch Broom, with repurposing to create new habitats in restored wetland areas.
Replanting Native Species: For each invasive plant removed, four native species such as Salmonberry and Camas are planted. Over 6,500 native plants have been supplied by the Native Plant Nursery this year.
Wetland Restoration: Rejuvenating 20 hectares of wetlands to enhance water quality, carbon storage, and wildlife habitats.
Bird and Habitat Connections: Timed restoration activities to support bird species like Olive-sided Flycatchers and Barn Swallows.
Community and Educational Programs: Initiatives connecting Quw’utsun Youth with Elders to pass down traditional ecological knowledge and cultural heritage.
Bringing Elders and Youth Together

At the heart of these efforts is the Mi tse' t'akw' (Coming Home) campaign, an initiative by the Stqeeye’ Learning Society to raise $2,000,000 for land acquisition and startup funds. The goal is to establish a sustainable enterprise supporting native plant restoration, traditional food systems, and educational programs led by Elders and Knowledge Keepers. This campaign is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help bring Quw’utsun Elders and Youth home to their traditional territory in Xwaaqw’um.

Join the Webinar

This webinar offers a chance to learn about the profound restoration efforts at Xwaaqw’um and the importance of Indigenous-led environmental stewardship. Attendees will have the opportunity to contribute to the vital work of reconnecting the Quw’utsun community with their ancestral lands and fostering a resilient future.

Register now to support the Stqeeye’ Learning Society and its efforts to create a sustainable future rooted in traditional knowledge and practices. All proceeds from the event will directly support bringing Quw’utsun Elders and Youth back to their traditional territory in Xwaaqw’um.

Event Details

Date: Tuesday, June 18th
Time: 7:00 PM (PST)
Platform: Online Webinar
Registration: https://revenue-can.keela.co/stqeeye-learning-society-webinar

June 5, 2024 6:10 PM