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Qualicum Early Years on the Crab Dock

On Thursday, August 16, The 4 Seasons Early Years team and Qualicum First Nation facilitator brought our Qualicum First Nation Family Gathering on a field trip to learn how to harvest crab. The children were able to participate in the harvest of one of our traditional foods while being guided by one of our regular group participants who was our knowledge keeper for this activity.

This was a great example of the intersection of modern and traditional practices as we used new methods (modern crab traps) to practice, learn and teach the collection of a valued Coast Salish food source. And with all of the parents supporting each other and watching over each other’s children to ensure their safety on the dock, we were also practicing the value of community.

The parents and children learned what bait to use, how to set up the bait, how to safely toss the crab trap into the ocean and secure it – and then everyone has to learn the patience of waiting at least 15 minutes to check on the traps to see if any crabs had been caught! The look of excitement and wonder on the faces of the children as they watched the traps pulled out of the ocean with live crabs inside was simply amazing.

Moments like these are the things that help bind families together and connect them to others and create memories and stories to share. It is our hope that the families will continue this family activity to help off-set the high cost of living and pass the skill of harvesting our traditional food for generations to come.

Kw’umut Lelum’s 4 Seasons Early Years Program offers great opportunities for parents and children to learn and have fun together. For more information, click here.

Photos by Tricia Thomas

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