Searching for Staqeya

 By Shanon Fenske The 25-foot Amanda Anne plows through the frigid February waters of the Juan De Fuca Strait. Somewhere in the darkness ahead of us are islands inhabited by a wolf many in the Songhees First Nation believe is sacred. Campers were the first to report a lone wolf on Discovery Island, five km. east of Victoria, in 2012. Conservation officers dismissed the sightings as mistaken identity. Perhaps a dog had been abandoned on the island? While coastal wolves have been known to … [Read more...]

AbOut Tier 3

by Natalie Gates Walking through the bustling hallways of Nanaimo District Secondary School (NDSS), Brett Hancock offers easy smiles and fist pumps to almost every student he passes. Smirks form on their faces as they greet him back. “I learned a lot traveling, but I sure as hell didn’t learn much in high school,” he says. “The goal with these programs is to let them learn valuable things — like the acceptance of others, empathy, and respect.” Hancock wears pointy leather shoes with an … [Read more...]

Home Again

By Alexandria Stuart Nanaimo was in the middle of a heat wave as my boyfriend Sean and I set out on our "nearcation" to northern Vancouver Island, A/C on high. The familiar landscape of coastal British Columbia flew by: Moss-draped forests alternated with scabs of clear-cut, blanketed in pink fireweed as the land tried to heal itself. It was the same scenery I’d been looking at my whole life. A "nearcation" is a variation on the "staycation"; we would travel  farther north on the Island … [Read more...]

Home Again (Part Two)

The village of Sointula, Malcolm Island’s main port, looked like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. Brightly coloured sea shacks dotted the waterfront and the homes lining the main street, sitting on small, tidy fenced lots, were gaily painted. Sointula, meaning “place of harmony," was settled in the early 1900s by Finnish immigrants fleeing the harsh conditions in Nanaimo’s coal mines. They envisioned a utopian socialist society with communal property and equal participation/equal voice for … [Read more...]