case #00379

Ancient Traditions, Modern Science

Clam Gardens Engage Communities in Science Education

Clam gardens have been sustainably harvested using ancient methods for thousands of years.

Today, young Canadians in southwestern British Columbia are combining those traditional cultural practices with modern scientific techniques to restore clam gardens in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve.

The Learning by the Sea program is run by Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia, in partnership with Parks Canada. Science and culture camps bring youth to Coast Salish clam gardens to experience clam sampling and learn about data collection, geology, ecology and archaeology, alongside scientists and First Nations Traditional Ecological Knowledge holders.

Learning by the Sea honours clam gardens as places of multi-generational learning and makes science and technology culturally relevant for First Nations youth and the public by integrating it with Traditional Ecological Knowledge. The approach is paying off: Learning by the Sea is the first program to reactivate a clam garden.

Support from the NSERC PromoScience Program helps provide hands-on scientific and technical skills training opportunities for youth, outreach events and multi-media products.

WARNING: SHARING THIS ARTICLE WILL EXPOSE YOUR FRIENDS TO NEW SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE

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