The Haida Gwaii Semester is underway

  • Jan. 10, 2011 10:00 a.m.

Submitted by Mary von der Porten, Haida Gwaii Semester Coordinator-This January, we are welcoming the start of our second annual Haida Gwaii Semester in Natural Resource Studies. After a successful inaugural year in 2010, we now have twice as many students attending this year’s program! Eighteen students in total will be travelling from as far as Nova Scotia to as close as the islands themselves to participate. The Haida Gwaii Semester is made up of five university courses that run from January through to mid-April. There are four modular courses that run for three weeks each – Diversifying Resource-Dependent Communities, History and Politics of Resource Management, First Nations and Natural Resources, and Rainforest Ecology and Management. The fifth, Case Studies in Haida Gwaii, is a project-based course that runs once a week throughout the 13-week semester and pairs students directly with Haida Gwaii organizations. All of the courses involve community engagement and teachings from a diverse set of islands experts. In the first few weeks, we are looking forward to a forest walk with Linda Tollas, an economic lesson from Art Lew, a tour of the Culinary Coop and a trip to the mills in Port Clements among many other adventures. Such community involvement in the program gives students an unparalleled educational experience. In addition to regular courses and field work, the Haida Gwaii Semester will be hosting a number of public events. These will include lectures by our visiting professors, panel discussions, and final presentations by the students. Our first event will be a lecture by Dr. Sean Markey, the instructor of Diversifying Resource-Dependent Communities, titled “Innovation and Advocacy: Building Community in Rural British Columbia”. Dr. Markey is a professor from Simon Fraser University’s Center for Sustainable Community Development and recently published ‘Second Growth’ a book about economic development and sustainability strategies for rural BC.Please join us at the Kaay Center the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 7:30 pm for what is sure to be an interesting lecture. A discussion period and refreshments will follow. For more information, check out www.haidagwaiisemester.com.Haaw’a to all for welcoming the students to Haida Gwaii!