Tsawout First Nation

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Environmental News

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Hello! It has been awhile since I submitted some news but many things have been in the works! I have some exciting new things coming up for the year and I am looking forward to it!

Youth Environmental Action Team

First, I have received a small amount of funds to start an environmental youth action team! My hope is to have two groups: One group from Kindergarten to Grade 5 and the other group grade 6-12. I will be creating the younger youth committee (K-5) with Stephanie’s help in the After School Program. For the older youth, I will be hosting an information and sign up night complete with pizza to recruit youth who are interested in environmental issues. If you are interested in tackling some environmental issues such as waste management, water quality or conservation, as well as going on fun sustainability field trips… this is for you!!

The focus of the first initiative will be waste and waste reduction. While most of the children likely recycle in school, not all homes recycle and I would like youth to raise more awareness and encourage others to participate in recycling, composting and other practical ways to reduce waste at home. There are so many easy ways that work into your everyday life, such as:

• Buying in bulk to reduce on packaging materials
• Purchase of materials that are made from recycled materials
• Purchasing items that are reusable instead of one time use
• Try to send your kids to school with a litterless lunch by using plastic or other reusable containers
• Avoid foods packed in individual servings
• Use your own cloth bags

There are so many other ways to reduce your waste and most people do not even give waste a second thought… it is the “out of sight, out of mind” principle that is no longer the norm.

Royal Roads Students

Other news, I have some Royal Roads students coming to work with me on continuing the development of an environmental management plan for the East Saanich IR 2.

The students are going to help me develop a plan for how Tsawout can develop, enact, and enforce its environmental protection and assessment laws based on the environmental issues of high priority, as identified in the Step 1 EMA report. Part of this will be to establish Environmental advisory Committee to act as a working group to help with steps 2-4 of the EMA process. A draft Terms of Reference for the Committee will be developed. Once we get the initial project requirements/paperwork out of the way, we will be hosting an open house where community members can come and meet the team and learn more about the project. The open house will also be an opportunity for you to be a part of the process as we are interested in having your input for how best to manage our lands and environment issues.

Community garden

I am currently looking to send a few Tsawout community members to the “Growing food in the city” workshop held at the Royal Roads University. My hope is that we can train two community members and have those two run the garden program. The education department has agreed to cover the fee for this program for two community members.  I cannot guarantee a solid job at the end of this, but it is still a valuable training opportunity. If you are interested, please look at the attached summary and send me a one-page summary telling me about yourself, why you are interested, what previous work experience you have that can add to the garden program and all your updated contact information. Please make your submission no later than February 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm. Late submissions will not be considered. I have to enrol someone as soon as possible as these programs are in high demand and fill up quickly!