Indigenous Instructor Development Program – West Coast
This rigorous 18-day course will see you and your group living and working together as you paddle and hike through the territories of The Homalco, the Kwakwaka’wakw, the K’omoks, the Klahoose and the Sliammon First Nations. Your journey will begin at our base camp nestled in the beautiful Comox Valley, the traditional territory of the K’omoks First Nation. During your time there hopefully you will get a glimpse of the famous Comox Glacier. It is said that the glacier once turned into a white whale known as Queneesh to protect the K’omoks people and does so to this day.
As a group, you will leave the confines of camp to begin learning and travelling on the ocean in the Discovery Islands and Desolation Sound. This beautiful cluster of inlets and islands off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island are renowned for their rich waters and long steep fjords that cut deeply into mainland North America. This is truly a paddler’s paradise. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of a pod of orcas or a humpback whale, known to frequent these waters.
You’ll also get the opportunity to get out of the canoes, stretch your legs and put your newfound leadership skills to the test while embracing the challenge of a multi-day backpacking trip on the Sunshine Coast Trail. The Sunshine Coast Trail traverses a wide variety of landscapes, from coastal shorelines, along creeks and lakes, through old-growth forests to panoramic mountaintops. It provides hikers with the opportunity to experience the area’s breathtaking backcountry and its rich fauna and flora.