Ocean School Introduces “Bák̓vṇx̌ (The Harvest)”!

 How do youth learn about taking care of our blue planet? Ocean School’s mission is to provide learners, the next generation of ocean citizens, with the knowledge and tools to better understand our influence on the ocean and the ocean’s influence on us.

Ocean School, a joint initiative of the Ocean Frontier Institute at Dalhousie University, and the National Film Board of Canada, is a free, innovative inquiry-based learning experience geared towards ages 11-15 and available online in English, French, and Spanish. Using videos, virtual reality, augmented reality, and corresponding activities, Ocean School strengthens students’ personal connection to the ocean and seeks to empower them to take action.

The Bák̓vṇx̌ (Harvest) module was filmed and developed on unceded Haíɫzaqv homelands and waterways. Ocean School is sincerely grateful to the Haíɫzaqv Nation for allowing Ocean School to be guests in their territory, for sharing their stories and knowledge, and for collaborating with us for this module. 

Boris Worm, Marine Ecologist and Scientific Director Ocean School, emphasizes that “In visiting the Haíɫzaqv nation we all can gain a much deeper appreciation of how connected we are to these lands and waters, and the many creatures that call it home”

There were four key pillars to Ocean School’s approach with the Haíɫzaqv (Heiltsuk) Nation, which were largely informed by Jess Housty’s article, “You’re not the Indian I had in mind”. 

·         Openness and authenticity 

·         Community collaboration 

·         Ownership, cultural heritage and intellectual property 

·         Giving back and building capacity 

Youth host Jordan Wilson invites you to his Haíɫzaqv (Heiltsuk) homelands to take part in the harvest. Learn how herring, salmon, and Haíɫzaqv people are interconnected in the rich ecosystem of British Columbia’s Central Coast. This module celebrates the deep relationships between the Haíɫzaqv and these keystone species—relationships that are over 14,000 years old!

Kelly Brown, Director of the Haíɫzaqv Integrated Resource Management Department (HIRMD) states “Without the herring and salmon, we don’t have a culture. It breaks the thread of who we are as a people.”

Join the Haíɫzaqv and others to study the cycles that connect land and sea, and learn how traditional ecological language can guide us into a more sustainable future. 

 In Bák̓vṇx̌ (Harvest), the overarching module question is ‘How can we take a little and leave a lot for nature?’                                                                                                                                                  Learners are asked to reflect about what they’ve learned and how they can put their learning into action. This ‘Take Action’ activity in the module is designed to support sustained inquiry, leadership and collaboration.