Tag Archives: Nanaimo

The First Wildlife Coexistence program on Vancouver Island

Around 40 people turned out for the Wildlife Coexistence Gathering on Cortes Island. This was an opportunity for Cortesians to meet some of the extended community of advisors  to the local program and learn more about our three top predators: grey wolf, black bear and cougar. The gathering was organized and hosted by Sabina Leader Mense and Georgina Silby from the Cortes Community Wolf Project. It began with a welcoming ceremony in the Klahoose All Purpose Building on Friday, April 5. There was an all day teaching series in the Linnaea Education Centre the following day. The gathering ended with a walk through the wildlife travel corridor in Hank’s Beach Forest Conservation Park on Sunday, April 7.  

Sabina Leader Mense emailed, “We celebrated our cultural relationships to our wild kin with the Klahoose First Nations singers & drummers and our guests Grace SoftDeer from the Chickasaw First Nation and Dennis Hetu from the Toquaht First Nation. We then explored our social and ecological relationships with our wild kin in formal and informal presentations by our invited guests, Bob Hansen, Pacific Rim Coordinator for WildSafeBC and Todd Windle, Coordinator for the Wild About Wolves Project.

Cortes Currents recorded most of the sessions at Linnaea and has arranged the material in a series of articles. This is an abridged version of the segment in which Bob Hansen talked about the origins of Vancouver Island’s first wildlife coexistence program. Years later it became the model for Cortes Island’s program, and Hansen was one of Sabina Leader Mense’s mentors.

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The #1 Outdoor Adventure Show in North Vancouver Island

More than 2,600 people went to the North Island Outdoor Adventure Show last year. 

“Most of them were from Courtenay and Campbell River. A good portion from Parksville, Nanaimo and then it got pretty slim, but Quadra, Gold River, Victoria, Qualicum. There was one that really  blew my mind: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia,” explained Joel Wheeldon, Program Coordinator with the Strathcona Regional District. 

Google  ‘what is the #1 outdoor recreation show in North Vancouver Island,” and the first result will most likely be the North Island Outdoor Adventure Show. (It appears to be the only outdoor recreation show in the area. )

The North Island Outdoor Adventure Show is held in the Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex,  a function of the Strathcona Regional District.

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‘It was created for settlers by settlers’

Editor’s note: Indigenous students are not the only ones who do not feel they fit into the normal educational system, but there are high school and post-secondary alternatives. The Cortes Island Academy offers a high school accredited program based on experimental, project-based education. (Both ‘Indigenous’ and ‘settler’ kids are welcome.) Some Indigenous schools offer land based learning. I suspect that the ‘normal’ school experience can vary a great deal as well. The Cortes and Quadra Island elementary schools appear to have highly innovative programs. It is also interesting to read about the Vancouver Island University’s attempts to become more culturally sensitive and the Kwak’wala language revitalization at UBC.

By Roisin Cullen, Pique Magazine, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A young person’s first week in university should be an exciting and equally nerve-wracking time, but for 22-year-old Aiyana Kalani of the Lil’wat Nation, it was an eye-opening experience.

Kalani went to Vancouver Island University (VIU) in 2021 to major in digital marketing and minor in journalism, but found the experience incredibly isolating. She has since returned home and does not plan on continuing her studies.

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Satellites track the tiny silver fish hugely important to marine life

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A new scientific endeavour has taken to the sky using high-tech drones and satellite images to understand better the annual spring herring spawn vital to salmon and wildlife on the West Coast. 

Between February and March each year, frigid ocean waters transform to a milky tropical-looking turquoise green when male herring release milt to fertilize the countless eggs deposited by females on eelgrass, kelp and seaweed fringing coastal shores.

Unpredictable and dramatic, the small silver fishes’ spawning event is large and best monitored from great heights, said Loïc Dallaire, a researcher with the SPECTRAL Remote Sensing Laboratory at the University of Victoria. 

“It’s one of the very few animal formations that we can see from space, excluding human developments and towns,” Dallaire said. 

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Medical detox coming to Campbell River

Greater Campbell River has one of highest rates of drug related deaths in BC.

The first community-based medical detox north of Nanaimo will be opening in Campbell River this Fall. Island Health secured a location at 731 Nicholas Road near the North Island Hospital – Campbell River campus. 

“This is a really exciting addition to Campbell River.  When people living with addiction reach out and make that brave choice of getting the services that they need, we’d need to be able to meet them where they are and with the services that they need right away. This is a new six bed medical detox that the community has been asking  for,” explained  Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island and a resident of Campbell River. 

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