Our vision is to heal the land, inspire young land stewards, and develop a strong model for ecosystem restoration employment opportunities. We hope to contribute to decolonization efforts through land based learning and community action.
Our mission is to provide participatory education opportunities about traditional and healthy food systems
to contribute to the restoration and revitalization of native ecosystems in the W̱SÁNEĆ homelands and to promote food security and indigenous food sovereignty in the W̱SÁNEĆ community and beyond.
(ȽÁU,WELNEW Tribal School)
PEPAḴIYE is not available for consultation, collaboration, projects, plant walks, or any work in general.
PEPAḴIYE Ashley Cooper (she/they) is a Plural-Spirit (Genderfluid/ Non-binary/Indigiqueer) Salish (W̱SÁNEĆ, Lək̓ʷəŋən, Quw'utsun) and Nuu Chah Nulth (Tlaoquiaht, Mowachaht, Hesquiaht) Mother/Parent. PEPAḴIYE is proudly Neurodivergent (c-PTSD, AuDHD, Dyslexic). PEPAḴIYE lives and works in their community of W̱JOȽEȽP where they are raising their child.
PEPAḴIYE is continuously learning about plants, plant medicines, food ecosystems, and the SENĆOŦEN language through family, community members, and elders. PEPAḴIYE graduated W̱,SENĆOŦEN,IST in 2016 with a Diploma in Indigenous Language Revitalization through The University of Victoria.
She is the Program Director for the PEPAKEṈ HÁUTW̱ Native Plant and Garden Program and hateaching weekly workshops since 2016 for the ȽÁUWELṈEW̱ Tribal School and W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Secondary School students. PEPAḴIYE became a Co-Founder of the PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ Food Systems Education Foundation in 2017. PEPAḴIYE has been on the Environment Committee for the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council since 2019. PEPAḴIYE has helped advise with the Plant Relative signs at SMONEĆTEN Park, and will be a part of the restoration planning for ȾIKEL (maber flats) Restoration. PEPAḴIYE supported with her cultural knowledge with the development and planning for the W̱SÁNEĆ Ethnobotany Trail at the Horticulture Center of the Pacific. She is also team member of University of Victoria's Living Lab.
Judith Lyn Arney (she/they) is an ethnoecologist of British ancestry raised here in the W̱SÁNEĆ homelands. In addition to her experience working in the food sovereignty movement and forestry sector in British Columbia, she has also worked internationally on the restoration of traditional food ecosystems in Japan, Italy, and Mexico. Judith founded the PEPAKEṈ HÁUTW̱ program in 2011 during her graduate work with York University. Her passion for restoring ecosystems supports her work at PEPAKEṈ HÁUTW̱ nurturing connection to the natural world for children and youth! Currently, Judith leads on the PEPAKEṈ HÁUTW̱ restoration projects and native plant nursery operations, teaches in the programs and works with project partners to encourage the restoration of indigenous ecosystems in W̱SÁNEĆ territory and beyond.
Earl is a respected SȾÁUTW̱ elder, plant knowledge keeper and community historian. He was an integral team member in the precedent-setting Claxton vs Saanichton Marina (1987) case which protected Saanichton Bay from development, ensuring a future for the fishery of the W̱SÁNEĆ people. Earl came to his career in plants after years in recovery following a double aneurysm; his intention was to learn a skill that would be useful to his community. Earl has been working at PEPAKEṈ HÁUTW̱ since its earliest days, contributing his plant knowledge, storytelling, and plant stewardship skills to the school program and maintaining the gardens throughout the year. Earl also does storytelling and cultural teachings - and of course his famous salmon and clam bakes! - for many schools and organizations in the region, sharing his invaluable knowledge as well as his personal message of kindness and compassion.
Sarah Jim (she/her) is a proud member of the W̱SÁNEĆ nation from the W̱SÍ¸ḴEM village, along with Mexican, Russian-Jewish, and English ancestry. She is a visual artist in the community and received a Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria in 2019. Sarah has been stewarding the land with the PEPAKEṈ HÁUTW̱ Foundation since 2018. Her role as Stewardship Coordinator with PEPAKEṈ HÁUTW̱ has gifted Sarah the opportunity to connect to the culture, community, and the land in a meaningful and reciprocal way. Sharing the teachings that she has learned about native plant medicines, ecosystem restoration, and coastal traditions has allowed her to explore her indigeneity and advocate for the lands and waters that she calls home. The public artwork she creates of ethnobotanical designs and themes related to W̱SÁNEĆ ways of being has been a valuable tool for her to share the important teachings of reciprocity and living within the laws of the land. With the vision of healing the land for our non-human kin and cultivating healthy and safe spaces for community to harvest, she created the W̱SÍ¸ḴEM Ivy Project in 2021, utilizing the valuable skills and knowledge she has gained by working with PEPAKEṈ HÁUTW̱.
Kyle, who is of Ukrainian, Irish, and Métis ancestry, grew up on the W̱SÁNEĆ homelands, more specifically in Keating. At the University of Victoria, Kyle majored in Biology and Environmental Studies, where he gained a strong background in science that has grown with the teachings he has received, as well as through interactions with students and peers along his path. He is excited about utilizing his skills and knowledge of science and the local environment to promote ecosystem restoration, protection, and stewardship through education as a way to heal the places that shaped his adoration for the natural world. Kyle has facilitated outdoor education programs with the PEPAKEṈ HÁUTW̱ Native Plant and Garden Program since 2021; his work is rooted in developing strong relationships with the students in order to create safe spaces and environments, so that everyone feels comfortable to learn and thrive. When Kyle isn’t teaching students about native plants and conserving biodiversity, you can find him tending to native plant propagations and food security gardens, restoring native ecosystems, or helping facilitate the Living Labs Youth Ecostewardship camps around the lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ territories. Kyle hopes that his knowledge and passion for nature inspires the students at the PEPAKEṈ HÁUTW̱ Native Plant Nursery and Garden to become the next generation of land stewards.
Hannah is of Cree, Métis, and Scottish ancestry. Hannah was born and raised in the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ territory. Growing up around the beauty of S¸ELE₭TEȽ (Goldstream River), a deep appreciation and respect for the natural world was fostered and encouraged. Hannah is passionate about environmental restoration and has worked for the last two years removing invasive plants from native ecosystems. She is currently in her third year of Indigenous Studies at the University of Victoria. Hannah is grateful to work with PEPAKEṈ HÁUTW̱ and be a part of the healing work happening at SṈIDȻEȽ (Tod Inlet).
Accounting & Admin
Wendy Jim was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area and is of Russian, Jewish and English ancestry. She has resided in the Tseycum Village for over 30 years and is a proud mother of Sarah Jim, Rebecca Jim, Stephanie Jim and Jacqueline Jim. Raising her children in their W̱SÁNEĆ culture with her husband David Jim was a very important decision in relocating to Canada. Wendy has a background in banking and finance for over 40 years with certificates from Camosun College, too. Wendy hopes to bring this knowledge to do her part in making PPEPAKEṈ HÁUTW̱ Foundation's vision come alive and succeed. Sarah Jim, her youngest daughter, has been a big inspiration to her for learning more about environmental restoration and doing her part to help the program thrive.