Setting Up Camp: Lessons from Camp Suzuki at Chá7elkwnech: Walking with the Squamish
David Suzuki Foundation
Authored by: Panos Grames, Delaney Beaton
Partners: Ayas Menmen (Squamish Nation Child and Family Services), Camp Fircom
This report aims to inspire and guide others to build on and expand partnerships for Indigenous-led outdoor education throughout Canada and beyond. Since 2015, the David Suzuki Foundation, Squamish Nation Child and Family and Services (Ayas Menmen), Squamish Nation and Camp Fircom have worked together to offer camps on beautiful Chá7elkwnech: (Gambier Island) in British Columbia’s Atl’ka7tsem (Howe Sound). Camp Suzuki at Chá7elkwnech is a nature-based summer camp that combines environmental stewardship and First Nations education.
“Setting Up Camp” describes how educators, activists, Indigenous leaders and engaged community members stepped forward, reflecting people’s emerging desire to integrate and share Indigenous histories and ways of knowing.
The report looks at the lessons learned in bringing together Indigenous Peoples and conservation groups through an enjoyable outdoor learning environment that teaches the interdependence of Indigenous culture, history and environmental stewardship.
Although it’s impossible to adequately describe in a report the joyful engagement of a multigenerational, Indigenous-led summer camp, we hope these pages will convey some sense of the experiences of 170 people ranging in age from eight to 75, singing songs together and learning about Squamish language cedar weaving and Indigenous plant uses at Camp Suzuki at Chá7elkwnech: Walking with the Squamish.
Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound Conservation Options
This conservation analysis of Ált’ka7tsem/Howe Sound identifies areas of high ecological value that have the best opportunity to catalyze conservation action. Many of these areas overlap with existing human activity and are therefore not suitable for formal conservation protection. However, these areas present excellent opportunities for employing management and stewardship practices.
Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound Ecological Values Assessment
This document outlines the methods used to identify high biodiversity areas in Ált’ka7tsem/Howe Sound and has an accompanying map book that shows the areas of high ecological value identified through the process.