Walking with the Squamish
Since 2015, the David Suzuki Foundation, Ayes Men Men, the 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 coastal protection training and First Nations education. Regardless of your age, it offers a chance to disconnect from technology and reconnect to nature.
Along with teaching from members of the Squamish nation — including the famed Canoe Family — Camp Suzuki at Chá7elkwnech: Walking with the Squamish will feature seminars from David Suzuki Foundation staff and other skilled educators. This camp is particularly useful to teachers, who can incorporate the Squamish teachings and methods into fulfilling the new provincial curriculum.
Camp Suzuki at Chá7elkwnech: Walking with the Squamish has been cancelled for the 2020 season due to public health restrictions. If you would like to participate Camp Suzuki in August 2021, or have any questions about this amazing program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 2021, age 19+
The adult leadership retreat brings together Squamish Nation history, practice, culture, stories and stewardship in a welcoming and encouraging outdoor education setting. With seminars in ethnobotany, Squamish history, language and culture, canoeing, ecosystem mapping and more, you’ll leave the camp with a deeply enriched understanding of this place.
Note: Teachers can apply for pro-d funds to help offset camp fees. Contact your district pro-d officer for details.
August 2021, ages 8-12
The kids’ camps host all the summer fun and adventure a kid could hope for, but with rich cultural teachings from the Squamish First Nation. Your kids will make new friends during this week of joyful exploration, with activities including cedar weaving, canoeing, Squamish language, singing and dancing with educators from the Squamish nation.
August 2021, ages 13-14
In this co-ed, seven-day program, youth get an active role in shaping their week, learning to lead themselves in a group setting. Participants will enjoy Squamish-led language and cultural workshops as well as kayaking, archery, leadership, canoeing and a three-day out trip!
The experience of a lifetime
The teachings of the Squamish people, paddling together in the canoe, stories by the fire, ethnobotany, language, storytelling, and so many candid conversations over meals or in down time opened my eyes even wider to a diversity of opinions, experiences and cultural histories. I take these new insights into my everyday life, sharing my experiences with my friends and family.
Fonda, 2019 Camp Suzuki leadership graduate
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Local Squamish legends (Chiaxten and Uncle Buck) teach local Squamish legends by the campfire with Atl’ka7tsem and the full moon in the background.
Sempulyan leads a group lesson in Squamish singing.
Ethnobotany with Jared Van Somer from Ayas Men Men.
Learning Squamish history in the K’xwu7lh (ocean-going canoe).
Cedar weaving is one of many activities enjoyed during Camp Suzuki at Chá7elkwnech.
Morning shukw'um with the Squamish Nation at Camp Suzuki: Howe Sound. (Photo: Jennifer Deol)
Members of the Squamish Nation share traditional song and dance.
Canoes and kayaks at Camp Suzuki at Chá7elkwnech. (Photo: Janice Williams)
Paddlers at Camp Suzuki: Howe Sound.