"Soft piles of soil near the waterfront at Royal Roads University hold hopes for the future and a link to the past for a dozen students from Shoreline Middle School.
Using traditional digging sticks, aided by more modern shovels, Grade 6 students burrowed into the mounds of earth on Wednesday and planted bulbs of common camas — a plant that was once ubiquitous around southern Vancouver Island.
It was also a food staple for First Nations.
“The camas would be steamed. It’s our potato,” said Ken Elliott of Cowichan Tribes, owner of a native plant nursery.
Elliott has provided dozens of camas bulbs for the project, which is being co-ordinated by the Centre for Livelihoods and Ecology at Royal Roads, and he is hoping to inspire a curiosity about the past.
“I am encouraging the kids to go back to their family elders and see if they remember a plant they used for food, a plant they used as a tool and a plant they used for medicine,” said Elliott, who has watched traditional use of many plants disappear within four generations..."
Photo credit: Lyle Staford, Times Colonist.