The Tofino Clayoquot Heritage Museum operates in Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations traditional territory. The new Stubbs Island exhibit is on now through summer, and the museum is open daily 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Tayu Hayward Photo)

The Tofino Clayoquot Heritage Museum operates in Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations traditional territory. The new Stubbs Island exhibit is on now through summer, and the museum is open daily 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Tayu Hayward Photo)

SDGs: Discussing sustainability with the Tofino Clayoquot Heritage Museum

A look at how the museum aims to preserve the cultural and natural heritage of Clayoquot Sound

By Haley Stevenson

Special to the Westerly

The Tofino Clayoquot Heritage Museum provides a glimpse into many different facets of historical life on the Coast.

Since its humble beginnings, a variety of local artifacts have been donated to the grassroots organization, which now make up the incredible exhibit on display at the museum’s present Main Street location. Attendees can find information on Cougar Annie, Nuu-chah-nulth culture, the War of the Woods, some of the region’s sunken ships, and so much more.

During the winter, the museum began investigating its role as an organization in helping achieve the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

For those who don’t know, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs for short, were created as a core element of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that was adopted in 2015 by all United Nations Member States. The aim of the SDGs is to provide a blueprint for achieving peace and prosperity throughout the world.

The goals recognize the need for deep social sustainability work alongside environmental action to achieve this and include objectives to end poverty, reduce inequalities, and universalize quality education.

This initiative has helped expand people’s understanding of sustainability beyond that of solely an environmental lens. Every individual, business, organization and government is capable of contributing to a more sustainable future in one way or another, and the Tofino Clayoquot Heritage Museum has set out to discover and highlight its role in the global effort.

Guided by a Curating Tomorrow document, the Tofino Clayoquot Heritage Museum has launched its Sustainability Series. The series consists of several blog posts, each diving into a new SDG and the ways in which the museum’s work aligns with its relevant targets.

One such goal is No. 11: Sustainable Communities and Cities, and more specifically Target No. 4, which calls for the preservation of cultural and natural heritage. The museum is certainly up for the task.

Culture and history are incredibly important and binding elements for a community and its visitors. They help maintain a strong society, build trust, and create meaningful connections to the land, connections, which motivate citizens to then protect it.

The museum is by donation and open daily from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The new interactive exhibit on Stubbs Island (the site of the former town of Tofino) officially opened March 11 and will run through the summer.

Learn more about Sustainability Series by visiting the museum’s website: www.tofinomuseum.ca/.

Haley Stevenson is the communications co-ordinator for the West Coast NEST, an organization that works to promote the SDGs in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Region. Her original story can be found here: www.westcoastnest.org

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