The Speakers Series features engaging speakers sharing their knowledge and expertise on topics relevant to the well-being and sustainability of the Cowichan watershed, within Quw’utsun territory.
All events take place at Vancouver Island University - Cowichan Campus, Lecture Hall 140, 2011 University Way, Duncan.
Next in the Series:
Monday March 18th, 7-8:30 pm
Becoming a Friend of the Watershed: the value that every single person has!
Hosted by Tim Kulchyski (Cowichan Tribes Biologist). Featuring slides and stories with Barry Hetschko (Photographer/Naturalist/Volunteer).
Mon Dec 18th, 7-8:30
Gord Baird presents "The brighter side of sustainability: A story of our journey to making a difference one naive choice at a time."
Gord and Ann designed and built their modern comfortable cob home, which was designated the first internationally recognized Living Building project. Gord is a living legend in the worlds of sustainable building, regenerative farming, water conservation and rainwater harvesting.
Gord and Ann are currently serving as third term councilors for the Highlands Municipality and have shaped provincial legislation in regards to composting toilets and greywater treatment.
Gord’s journey serves as an inspiring narrative of dedication to sustainable living and community leadership, and looks forward to sharing the stories that have unfolded along this transformative path.
Learn more: Eco Sense Regenerative Design. eco-sense.ca
MCd by Cowichan Watershed Board member and groundwater specialist, David Slade.
FREE. All welcome. Seating capacity 80. Doors open 6:30pm
Location: Vancouver Island University - Cowichan Campus, Lecture Hall 140, 2011 University Way, Duncan.
Mon Nov 20th, 7-8:30pm
Dr. Tom Gleeson presents "Everything's connected: groundwater, streams, climate and you!"
Tom studies groundwater globally as a hydrologist and leader of UVic's Groundwater Science and Sustainability research group. He is also the lead professor in the inspiring Xwulqw'selu Connections citizen science project underway with volunteers and PhD students in the Koksilah watershed.
Tom promises an engaging and interactive evening of learning how water connects us! (He's a real professor, so don't expect to get away with hiding at the back of the room. )
Including words from Quw'utsun elder T'awahwiye Philomena Williams. MC'd by Watershed Board member and Cowichan Valley Regional District representative for much of the Koksilah Watershed, Alison Nicholson.
Weir Getting There!
Update on the Critical & Collaborative Effort to Rebuild the Quw'utsun River Weir for a Healthy Future.
This event was video recorded. Click here to view: https://youtu.be/IQfO6plzVYU?feature=shared
At the close of what many are calling the worst summer they remember, including the heart-wrenching sight of thousands of dead fish in the Cowichan River (and more in Somenos Lake), then the longest stretch of "life support" lake-pumping ever needed to keep the river flowing until this week's rain, please join us as we regroup and re-commit to a better future.
This event will focus on the health of the Quw'utsun Sta'lo which is sometimes called the heart of Quw'utsun territory, and will begin with words from elder Philomena Williams. The Cowichan Watershed Board's Co-Chairs, Chief Hwitsum (Cowichan Tribes) and Chair Stone (CVRD), will share their work and perspectives on the decades long effort to replace the weir. Our Strategic Priorities Director Tom Rutherford will provide an overview of the situation now, and then technical leaders and partners will be available for an interactive Q&A about how "weir" doing, and how you can help. The Cowichan Lake and River Stewards will also be on hand with letter writing supplies for those who feel inspired. https://www.cowichan-lake-stewards.ca/ Read about the project to replace the weir here.
Rebuilding the weir is the top priority of the Cowichan Watershed Board. It has been a long journey, with many contributing partners, and the end is in sight. Hope you can join us! Weir all in this together.
1 Fish, 2 Fish, Why Not More Fish?
Featuring visiting Fluvial Geomorphologist, Jeff Anderson.
Jeff will reflect on Riverscape Health Principles in connection with ongoing local environmental flow assessments, Salmon enumeration, and habitat restoration projects in the Koksilah and Chemainus Rivers through the Twinned Watershed project.
All welcome. Seating capacity 80. Doors open 6:30pm
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Jeffrey Anderson has been working in northwestern British Columbia since 1996. His experience includes planning and managing both research and resource sector projects. Jeffrey is currently undertaking a doctorate degree in stream restoration. Studying under Dr. Joe Wheaton, Jeff is developing watershed-scale tools to help operationalize process-based restoration in British Columbia, and Canada. His technical skill set includes a comprehensive understanding of modelling hydrology, hydraulics, sediment transport, and environmental flow needs.
Xwulqw'selu (Koksilah) Watershed Planning
Years of harsh summer droughts and devastating winter floods in the Koksilah River watershed have impacted the whole watershed ecosystem, First Nations, local food producers, businesses, residents, and more. As a result, this sub-basin of the Cowichan watershed is the focus of a new planning process.
Free. All welcome.
Welcome and Opening by Smaalthun (Larry George )
Larry is a member of Cowichan Tribes and has served as the Director of Lulumexun (Land & Self Governance) for Cowichan Tribes for 20+ years. Larry has been involved in extensive partnerships and initiatives in the watershed including as chair of the Xwulqw’selu Water Sustainability Plan process and as a member of various Internal/External organizations that protect our resources (including the First Nations Fisheries Council, Q'ul-lhanumutsun Aquatic Resources Society, and Fraser Salmon Management Council).
Presentation by Natasha Overduin, Watershed Planning Process Facilitator
Natasha is a professional facilitator with a focus on co-governance. She builds consensus, commitment, and accountability among cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary groups. Her goal is to help groups get to better outcomes – not only on the land and in the water, but in their conversations, relationships, and decision-making. Natasha is constantly trying to figure out how to move the dial on reconciliation and sustainability. She holds an MA in Geography from the University of Victoria. She lives in Nanaimo, BC.
Q&A facilitated by Alison Nicholson, Cowichan Watershed Board member and CVRD Area E Director.
Connect with Alison here. https://www.facebook.com/alisonnicholson.areaE
Join us for a Presentation by Dr. Waters that intertwines Western and Indigenous knowledge concerning the interconnections between human health and our environments. Shannon will relate her experiences and research as a family doctor, Medical Health Officer, and indigenous community member, guided by the Quw'utsun teachings:
Hwialasmut tu tumuhw. Take care of this Earth.
Mukw' stem 'l 'utunu tumuhw, 'o' hulitun tst, mukw' stem 'i 'utunu tumuhw 'o' slhiilhukw 'ul. Everything on this Earth is what sustains us; everything on this Earth is connected together.
Dr. Shannon Waters is a Public Health & Preventative Medicine Physician, Environmental Connector, Watershed Advocate, and Weaver of words. She is also the Cowichan Valley Medical Health Officer, a Cowichan Watershed Board Member, Coast Salish community member. Learn more here: https://www.drshannonwaters.com/sxwi-em-storytelling
The event will be facilitated by Tom Rutherford, Cowichan Watershed Board's Director of Strategic Priorities (aka Fish Guy).
Free (with thanks to Vancouver Island University-Cowichan and the Real Estate Foundation of BC)
All welcome. Masks will be available for those who wish. Please stay home if you are sick. There may be elders in attendance. Thank you for your consideration.
Photo by Sandy Powlik
The Speakers Series features engaging speakers sharing their knowledge and expertise on topics relevant to the well-being and sustainability of the Cowichan watershed, within Quw’utsun territory. The series is hosted by the Cowichan Watershed Board, with the support of VIU Cowichan and the Real Estate Foundation of BC, and our generous speakers. It occurs on the 3rd Monday of the month, in select months.
Safeguarding Xpey'/Cedar: Central to local culture and ecosystems for millennia, this tree, called XPey' by the Quw'utsun indigenous people, is under stress in our watershed. Learn why, and what Quw’utsun elders, tree scientists, and others are doing to safeguard Cedar for the future.
- Qwiyahwultuhw Robert George, elder, (Quw'utsun' Cultural Connections),
- Heather Pritchard, eco-forestry consultant, and
- Lise van der Merwe, research scientist, Cowichan Lake Research Station, BC Ministry of Forests
The event will be facilitated by Cowichan Watershed Board member, CVRD Director, and forest ecologist, Alison Nicholson.
This event is presented in partnership with Quw'utsun' Cultural Connections.
Speakers Series was not offered in 2020-2022 due to CoVid19.
Feb - The Koksilah - Learning our Landscape. Ecologist and Registered Professional Forester, Heather Pritchard, will present the first phase of work commissioned by the Cowichan Station Area Association's Koksilah Working Group, "An Ecosystem-Based Analysis of the Koksilah River Watershed." Heather's presentation will describe the methodology and findings of the project, focusing on the historical character and current condition of the watershed. More info: https://cowichanstation.org/koksilah/
Jan - We Need to Talk: How to talk about the Climate Crisis in your Social Circles in ways that Spark Engagement instead of Ostracism. With Will Cole-Hamilton. (Full presentation - Please note that Will is happy to present in person to other groups if you are able to arrange a venue.)
Apr - The Warmer Land - Earth Week Speakers Night. (See Tom's section of this night here: https://youtu.be/IGSMkGDAwio)
Nov - Voices of our Watersheds
Sep - Will Duguid, Chinook Growing Pains Apr - Elke Wind, Amphibian Biologist
Mar - Gord & Anne Baird, Rainwater Harvest, Greywaters Systems
Feb - David Polster, Restoring Damaged Systems Using Native Plants
Jan - Al Gore, An Inconvenient Sequel (movie... no Al didn't drop by.)
Oct - Tom Gleeson, How Much Groundwater is on Earth
Sep - Natalie Anderson & Paul Siggers, Walking in the Watershed: A Cowichan Tribe’s Perspective
Jun - Ben Robinson, WELL SMART! - Get to know your H2O
May - John Borrows, Sources & Contemporary Uses of Indigenous Law
Apr - Jackie Hildering, Humpback Comeback
Mar - Kevin Pellett, Take a Peek at our PITs!
Feb - Nikki Wright, Inshore Marine Habitats
Nov - Dr. Dave Preikshot, Salmon in the Somenos Basin
Sep - Oliver Brandes & Rosie Simms, BC's new Water Law
Jun - Dr. Bethany L. Coulthard, Forecasting Drought through Tree-rings
May - Stan Orchard, The American Bullfrog
Apr - David Campbell, Flow Forecasting with Snow-Pillow Technology
Mar - Elizabeth May, Climate Change
Jan - Emily Doyle-Yamaguchi, Bruce Fraser & Barry Gates, EcoForestry