SṈIDȻEȽ (Tod Inlet, Gowlland-Tod Provincial Park) is an important place to the W̱SÁNEĆ peoples. SṈIDȻEȽ means “Place of the Blue Grouse” in SENĆOŦEN and is the first W̱SÁNEĆ village site. J,SIṈTEN (John Elliott, Tsartlip elder) tells us the story of how SṈIDȻEȽ was actually the first W̱SÁNEĆ village site and where SLEMEW̱, the first W̱SÁNEĆ person, was placed by XÁLS the Creator.
From 1904-1913 the Portland Cement Company operated a limestone quarry in SṈIDȻEȽ, seriously impacting the lands and waters in this special place. The structures built to house management level staff were used by white settlers as homes as late as the 1950s. In the 1970s local firefighters burned down the remaining structures as a practice exercise for their crews since most of these buildings had become derelict. The remains of these buildings can be seen throughout the forests of SṈIDȻEȽ today.
PEPAKEṈ HÁUTW̱ works in collaboration with the Tsartlip Lands Committee, BC Parks, W̱SÁNEĆ knowledge keepers and local restoration specialists to guide the restoration of this site.
Amazing volunteers from the local community, schools and organizations as well as students from W̱SÁNEĆ Schoolboard, all participate in restoring this special place. Many of the beautiful plants at the PEPAKEṈ HÁUTW̱ nursery find their homes at SṈIDȻEȽ..
We are grateful to work in community to accomplish our work at SṈIDȻEȽ! We are in partnership with Tsartlip First Nation and BC Parks. The W̱SÁNEĆ School Board supports our work bringing W̱SÁNEĆ youth to SṈIDȻEȽ to learn about the restoration and cultural practices of this remarkable place. Victoria Foundation, ŚW̱,ȻENEṈITEL Indigenous Foods Initiative, Habitat Conservation Trust Fund, and the Living Lab Network have all provided funding for this project. In addition, BC Parks provided a Parks Enhancement Fund in November 2022.
We raise our hands to the many generations of W̱SÁNEĆ peoples who stewarded this special place since time immemorial and continue to call SṈIDȻEȽ home.
The SṈIDȻEȽ Resiliency Project accepts volunteers!
We are happy to host community & student groups willing to do some restoration work as part of their education; instructors are welcome to contact our learning on the land program.SṈIDȻEȽ is a sacred place; our restoration work here is a deep honouring of the land.
We follow the natural processes of these forest ecosystems and this wisdom of W̱SÁNEĆ elders and knowledge keepers in our decision making, taking the time to connect to the landscape and uncover the layers of stories the land holds. If you would like to volunteer with us, please read out Protocols for Engagment before contacting us.
We meet all the Learning on the Land groups at our toolshed (beside the washrooms). Look out for our Restoration in Progress Sign.
Todd Inlet, Wallace Dr, Victoria, British Columbia V9E 2A2, Canada
By car: Park at the Wallace Drive gate and walk 10-15 min down the trail marked in blue on the map.
By bus: Take #75 or #81 to the bus stop at the end of Benvenuto Ave (outside Butchart Gardens) and walk 5 min down the trail from the Benvenuto Ave gate, linking with the trail marked in blue on the map.
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