Project Reclaim is a youth-driven, land-based project that will engage youth from the Tsartlip Nation to lead their community in healing from, resisting, and preventing violence through two key, interconnected program components: 1) youth-led land restoration to create greener, healthier community spaces, and 2) the youth-led development and delivery of culturally relevant violence prevention curricula in middle and high schools. Together, these program components will work to foster safer communities free from violence.
Project Reclaim uses a mentorship model, through which Tsartlip youth will be supported by and learn from elders and community mentors. This intergenerational project will be implemented by the hands of all willing community members of WSANEC nation (Tsartlip, Tseycum, Tsawout and Pauquachin).
Through Project Reclaim, we will make public spaces in the Tsartlip community safer, healthier, and more accessible for all community members.
We are currently working at a site in Tsartlip called HELEMITE Playground. Over the summer, we worked on clearing debris and pollution from the site. We have hosted several community action volunteer days, where we removed invasive English ivy from our restoration site. We are continuing to remove English ivy from the site, and are preparing the ground for some Fall planting. Our native plant garden will include an open berry field, with a walking chip trail between plants and a Garry Oak Meadow with a camas plot, nodding onion and other native plants. Our goal is to bring in as many edible and kid friendly plants to this site and restore traditional food systems in this area. We are also lucky to be working on the site of a heritage orchard in our community, and while clearing ivy and invasive plants we discovered an apple tree on site! In addition to the native plant gardens, we have built two garden beds and one wicking garden bed. In these garden beds, we have planted raspberry and two beds of kale for the winter season.
Outside of the gardens, we have hosted a nature walk with an elder from our community and a consent workshop for youth in the community. In November 2017 we will be hosting a workshop on rosehip medicine and a facilitated discussion on connections between violence prevention and indigenous food justice. We will also host a second consent workshop for youth who were unable to attend the first workshop. If you are indigenous youth age 14+and would like to be more involved, please contact us through our facebook group to keep updated with what is happening.