Clayoquot Biosphere Trust helping West Coast communities thrive

Clayoquot Biosphere Trust helping West Coast communities thrive

“There’s no limits to what we can do when we work together.”

Coastal difference-makers recently received an $80,000 infusion into their unique and inspiring initiatives.

The Carving on the Edge Society, Surfrider Pacific Rim, Raincoast Education Society and Kliilth Pi-taap Taaqumths Men’s Group each received $20,000 cheques from the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust during a recent celebration held at the Tofino Botanical Gardens.

The Carving on the Edge Festival Society plans to spend their funding on their ‘Putting the culture in the hands of our children’ project where they will partner with the Language Keepers Society and cultural educator Gisele Martin to offer intergenerational language and culture programming.

“There’s going to be a lot to cover over the next few months and then a lot of it will be shared at the Carving on the Edge Festival in September,” said project coordinator Helene Descoteaux at the April 20 event.

The local Surfrider crew will put their funding towards a partnership with the Ahousaht First Nation to organize remote beach cleans and tackle garbage that’s piling up on hidden beaches

“We’ve noticed since starting remote cleans that it is such a massive need. Those beaches are in dire need of our help,” said Surfrider Pacific Rim chair Jason Sam. “We are super excited to go out and undertake all this awesomeness.”

The Raincoast Education Society’s funding will go towards the field school program it plans to offer to Ucluelet Elementary School students. The program has been running at Tofino’s Wickaninnish Community School since 2014 and meshes the B.C. curriculum with the West Coast’s natural environment to create outdoor classrooms where students enjoy experiential and educational learning.

“Instead of learning about science from a textbook inside, they can go out onto the beach and learn about ecosystems,” said RES executive director Mark Maftei.

“We’ve been running the program in Tofino for a few years now and it’s been a dream for a while to run it in Ukee as well,” added Field School Coordinator Ariane Batic. “Giving everyone that equal opportunity to have those hands-on, outdoor experiences…and to create opportunities for our youth in Tofino and Ucluelet to work together in this partnership as well.”

The Kliilth Pi-taap Taaqumths Men’s Group was formed to help communities heal together by supporting each other.

“Part of healing is not just talking about it. It’s about our culture. Bringing our culture back, bringing our language back. Having the singing changes the energy, it uplifts people, it transforms people, it allows us to be who we are, and if we don’t have that how can we move forward together?” said group member Dwayne Martin.

“We put our health and social needs on the back-burners too much. We’ve got to be about action, not just words. Our men are standing up because often, sadly, it is the men in our community that cause a lot of the dysfunction, a lot of the abuse, a lot of the alcohol. We’re trying to change that in a healthy way. Not to preach to anybody. Not to look down on anybody. Just to stand together as healthy men.”

He said the group set up a centre at the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation’s Long Beach community and weekly gatherings at the centre are open to everyone.

“We’re trying to be more than just a healthy men’s group. We want to impact people in our community. Families, mothers, youth, children,” he said. “There’s no limits to what we can do when we work together.”

The funding stemmed from the CBT’s new Vital Grants funding stream, which is a reinvention of its Call for Projects Grants. In the past, the Call for Projects dished out annual small grants to about 20 organizations but, after consulting with community stakeholders and funding colleagues, the Trust decided fewer, larger, grants would better help tackle the region’s regional priorities and complex challenges, according to the CBT’s executive director Rebecca Hurwitz.

“We heard a lot of appreciation for the flexibility of our programs and for the work that we’re doing in the communities, but one comment really stood out and that was one grantee simply stated, ‘Small grants make it difficult to address big issues,’” Hurwitz said. “That comment really hit a chord with us.”

She said the CBT has spent the past 18 years promoting cultural, social, economic and environmental sustainability through a variety of funding streams in an effort to work towards the “ambitious aim to solve some of the world’s most critical sustainability issues by 2030” set by the United Nations

“The CBT is making every effort to address these goals with local community action, research, education and programs that promote the health of individuals, communities and ecosystems,” she said at the April 20 event adding that she is excited to see what the first four Vital Grant recipients produce.

“Supporting projects like yours, is one of the ways that we can work together to meet these goals and the shared mandates of creating a better future both locally and internationally.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Surfrider Pacific Rim’s youth team recently tackled Flores Island and the foundation is set to partner with the Ahousaht First Nation to conduct more remote beach cleanups thanks to funding from the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust. (Photo - Marcie Callewaert)

Surfrider Pacific Rim’s youth team recently tackled Flores Island and the foundation is set to partner with the Ahousaht First Nation to conduct more remote beach cleanups thanks to funding from the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust. (Photo - Marcie Callewaert)

Just Posted

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Ucluelet paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Gord John stands during question period in Ottawa in Sept. 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY CHRISTIAN DIOTTE, HOUSE OF COMMONS PHOTO SERVICES)
2020: A Year in Review with Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns

NDP MP wants to ‘build back better’ in 2021

Tofino expects to elect a new mayor and two new councillors on March 6. (Westerly file photo)
Nomination period begins for Tofino byelection

Tofino is set to replace former mayor Josie Osborne, who is now the Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA.

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Quebec’s BEI completes investigation into Chantel Moore’s fatal shooting by Edmundston police officer

New Brunswick’s public prosecutions services and chief coroner to conduct public hearing

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is reminding visitors that all dogs must be leashed at all times. (Westerly file photo)
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve urges dog owners to show respect by leashing their pets

“As Coastal Stewards, we appreciate seeing you with your pets on leashes.”

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Inmates at Metchosin’s William Head Institution are being given COVID-19 vaccines as part of the first phase. Around 600 inmates will be vaccinated in the coming days. (Black Press Media file photo)
William Head prison inmates in receive first doses of COVID vaccine

Priority set for older inmates and those with underlying medical conditions

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A water taxi at Victoria’s Fisherman’s Wharf. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man arrested after stolen water taxi raced up Victoria’s Gorge Waterway

Man is facing recommended charges of theft over $5,000 after leading police on marine chase

A mattress on fire gutted the second floor hallway at Town Park Apartments C-block Jan. 17. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue images)
‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months

A burning mattress created smoke and heat, causing several tenants to jump from windows

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

Most Read