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Place-based learning in Huu-ay-aht Territory, Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre

Deadline March 31, 2018

Block 3: August 13-August 24, 2018
Instructors: Dr. Tracy L. Friedel (UBC)

On the west coast of Vancouver Island, Nuu-chah-nulth peoples, including Huu-ay-aht First Nation (HFN), have occupied their homelands along the mountains and seas for thousands of years. This extended land and water tenure is reflected, among other ways, through a multitude of narratives, songs, ceremonies, family lines and place names. In relatively recent times (since the mid-nineteenth century), Huu-ay-aht people have shared this enduring landscape with waves of newcomers. The Village of Bamfield, an instrumental part of the history of the Province of British Columbia, has served as a key trans-pacific cable terminus, fishing village, start/end point for the West Coast Trail, research marine station, and eco-tourist destination. Since 2011, the Maa-nulth Treaty has guided relations in Huu-ay-aht Territory.

In the context of this rich history and present, this intensive two-week course offers undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to engage in the emerging realm of place-based learning. The course is structured around foundational questions, such as:

  • What are the key premises underlying place-based learning?;
  • What is the role of history and land in Indigenous place-based learning?;
  • How can place-based learning in community-based settings inform our understanding of what it means to “Indigenize”?;
  • In what ways can Indigenous educational traditions inform contemporary practices in diverse fields such as education, health, social work, community development, environmental management, etc.?

Through incorporating various forms of experiential learning such as site visits, Elder talks and a field research project, the course aims to foster a critically reflective understanding of place-based knowledge and respectful relations as foundational premises to advancing the important work of decolonization and reconciliation.

Prerequisite: The course is open to undergraduate and graduate students in fields such as education, health, anthropology, geography, philosophy, sociology, Indigenous studies, environmental studies, etc.

For more information or to apply online, visit

The application deadline is March 31, 2018.