March 15-21, 2024
Indigenous Ways of Being
In March 2024, a group of 18 Upper School students and their teachers will travel 2,500 miles to Vancouver Island off Canada’s Pacific Coast to examine the balancing concern for the environment with the realism of humanity’s need for natural resources. There, they will learn about the limitations of Western perspectives on ‘resources,’ and witness shining examples of hope for the future that originate with Indigenous ways of knowing and being.
By focusing on the logging industry in and around the area, students will examine the tensions and formidable challenges facing the Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth, and Coast Salish bands of First Nations. Can land be shared? Can someone’s land that was stolen be sold? Who owns the trees and the rights of what to do with those trees on stolen land? What is the process of reconciliation ongoing in that area and elsewhere in British Columbia? Is it enough, especially compared with our own practices in the United States?
During this week-long trip, which is organized by Friends’ Center for Peace, Equity and Justice, students will engage with professional foresters, urban farmers, and aquaculture experts. They will learn directly from teachers, students, and leaders within these Indigenous communities, come to understand the limitations of Western perspectives on ‘resources,’ and witness shining examples of hope for the future that originate with Indigenous ways of knowing and being.