Expedition #1- Ahousaht People & Place: West Coast Cultural Experience

Words from Fa P. - Ahousaht: People & Place cohort

It was at Cadboro Bay with bright sun and clear skies that the story begins. We learned about the great longhouses that used to house 10 families of the Chekonein people. The bay provided shelter from the ocean and a cove allowed them to ambush any attacking forces. We stopped at Cattle point to talk about the impact of the later settlers on the First Nations. We then went to Willows beach, the infamous site of the First Nations archaeological dig. The was the site of many important discoveries that brought its landowner a fortune in wealth. We also had a little adventure collecting blackberries there. On our way to Beacon Hill Park, we passed Oak Bay High and spoke about the meaning behind the totem pole in front of the school. At Beacon Hill Park, we saw the rocks used as gravestones by the first nations. Our journey took us to the Royal BC Museum’s First Peoples’ gallery. We were able to split up and focus on a topic of our choosing for 40 minutes. Our interests varied from First Nations art and languages to their lifestyle and origins. In the end, we all presented on the information we gathered during our stay. We ended our trip at Songhees point where the Songhees first relocated to after a treaty with the later settlers. We learned a lot of information about the first nation’s way of life both before and after the European settlers arrived. We look forward to building off what we learned in future expeditions.