Keynote - Environmental Lessons from the Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom of Long-resident Peoples

Indigenous knowledge and wisdom may be thought of as natural science refined over time by long-resident populations seeking to sustain both community and environment. Traditional knowledge and wisdom helps us discover sound traditions in technology, habitat and resource sustainability, as well as community-environment relationships. This presentation includes examples of Indigenous knowledge and wisdom, differences and similarities between western and Indigenous science, and strategies for infusing examples of Indigenous Science into education programs. Special attention will be given to BC examples of Indigenous ecological knowledge and wisdom.

Youth Eco-Stewardship Summer Program

This summer, over 30 youth from Songhees, Esquimalt, and Pauquachin First Nations engaged in a 4-week eco-stewardship program coordinated by the Living Lab Project and the three Nations. Three of the youth from the program, Jessica Joseph, Frankie Taylor, and Kadyn Williams, and facilitator John Harris will share their experiences during the summer through a lens of healing and restoration, stewardship of lands and waters, community building, and relationships. We look forward to hearing from these inspiring young people as they step into their respective leadership roles. 


9:15 AM - 10:30 AM

Included in your registration


  • Gloria Snively

    Dr. Gloria Snively is Full Professor Emerita at the University of Victoria where she taught science methods, environmental/marine education, and culture courses. She was Director of the Graduate Program in Environmental Education. For 12 years, she was involved with the Asia Pacific Network whose purpose is to strengthen links between the research community and school-based environmental education in the Asia- Pacific region. Her work with Indigenous education spans 5 decades and has always been inspired by Indigenous leaders. She enjoys giving natural history talks and walks to students, teachers, park interpreters, First Nations and community groups.


  • Wanosts’a7 Lorna Williams

    Dr. Wanosts’a7 Lorna Williams OBC walking in peace is Lil’wat of the St’at’yem’c First Nation. Her life has been devoted to promoting and restoring Indigenous culture and language. She worked as an Indigenous educator and language specialist for more than 50 years in diverse settings, including Indigenous communities, public schools, and adult education settings. Dr. Williams recently retired from the University of Victoria as Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Knowledge and Learning (co- appointment with Faculty of Education and Department of Linguistics) and an associate professor, where she developed and delivered an innovative series of courses on learning and teaching in an Indigenous world.


  • John Harris

    ’Uy’ skweyul, 

    John Harris is an Indigenous Educator from Snuneymuxw (Nanaimo) First Nation, working in the Greater Victoria School District's Indigenous Education Department as the Elders and Indigenous Knowledge Facilitator, on UVic's Living Lab Project steering committee, and as a program coordinator / facilitator. He is grateful for the privilege of living, working, and playing in the traditional territory of the (Lekwungen) Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations, and passionate about weaving local Indigenous perspectives and knowledge into teaching and learning opportunities for youth. As an educator, John has found that incredibly profound learning occurs at the intersection between traditional ecological knowledge of local First Peoples, land-based experiential teaching, and an individual and collective openness to embrace Uy’skwuluwun (a good mind and a good heart) when doing this work.

    Huy ch q‛u Siem

  • Frankie Taylor

    ’Uy’ skweyul,
    Frankie Taylor is a Songhees First Nation, and Musgamawg dzawada’enuxw youth currently working in the Greater Victoria area. She is on the University of Victoria’s Living Lab youth team assisting with various projects for Regional First Nation Youth. She is very grateful to be living on her family’s traditional territory of the (Lekwungen) Songhees First Nation. Frankie believes that our First Nation youth hold a very significant part in claiming our territories, and bringing our culture back through land-based and traditional teachings.
    Huy ch q‛u Siem

  • Jessica Joseph

    Songhees First Nation

  • Kadyn Williams

    Pauquachin First Nation