PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW NATIVE PLANTS & GARDEN PROGRAM

PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ is a native plant and nursery and garden located at ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱ Tribal School in Brentwood Bay. PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ means “Blossoming Place” in SENĆOŦEN, the language of the W̱SÁNEĆ people. Since 2011, PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ has been the home of the PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ Native Plants & Garden Program, offering opportunities for Tribal School students to share and learn about healthy and traditional foods in hands-on workshops. LifeCycles joined the program in 2014 to contribute their valued experience in conducting garden workshops and fundraising for the program. Together we are building a community based program that meaningfully addresses food security concerns and integrates traditional foods and indigenous food ecosystems into the vision of food security in the region.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱ Tribal School serves all four of the W̱SÁNEĆ First Nations on the Saanich Peninsula. The Tribal School gets its name from the sacred mountain ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱, where the W̱SÁNEĆ flood story takes place. ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱ Tribal School has been in operation by the community since 1989 in order to provide students with a strong cultural education, including the SENĆOŦEN language and many traditional activities.

The PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ Native Plants & Garden program provides year round food systems programming, food celebrations and feasts for W̱SÁNEĆ students from kindergarten through to adult learners. Knowledge keepers, elders, environmental educators and community food champions also participate in the program to offer students a diverse and exciting introduction to local ecosystems and sustainable food resources.

During our celebration events, students, teachers and community members have an opportunity to feast together to learn, share, and celebrate healthy and traditional foods.

PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW Native Plants & Garden workshops include seed saving, planting native plant and vegetable gardens, ecological restoration field trips, container gardening, making wild teas, identifying and tasting seaweeds and seagrasses, growing mushrooms, caring for chickens, compost building, plant identification, native plant propagation, harvesting, cooking, SENĆOŦEN language and cultural food activities, storytelling, crafts with elders, and more!

Through this program we hope to raise awareness about the importance of traditional foods and native plants in our food systems, incorporating this understanding into our collective conversations about food security. Please visit pepakenhautw.com to learn more about the PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ Native Plants & Garden Program. We have lots of resources to share!

Get Involved

To find out more information, contact Judith Lyn Arney, PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ Native Plants & Garden Program Coordinator at juditharney@gmail.com