Bák̓vṇx̌ (The Harvest)

Additional information & resources for the Harvest collections

About this page

The Bák̓vṇx̌ (Harvest ) collections explore the deep interrelationships between land, sea and people.

This page describes how we collaborated with the Haíɫzaqv community, our approach to incorporating Indigenous language into the collections, and lists additional resources that you may find helpful.

About this page

Youth host Jordan Wilson and biologist Boris Worm examine kelp from the side of a boat.

Guiding principles

We are grateful to the Haíɫzaqv Nation and the community of Bella Bella for making this module possible. The community shared invaluable time, knowledge and patience with our team.

There were four key pillars to our approach to collaboraing with the Haíɫzaqv (Heiltsuk) Nation, which were largely informed by Jess Housty's article, “You’re not the Indian I had in mind”.

Openness and authenticity

We approached the research and development of the module filmed in Haíɫzaqv Nation with open minds. We did not form a production plan until we consulted extensively with the community and established a relationship of trust and understanding. It was important for us to find ways to invite Haíɫzaqv voices and perspectives into our process and find out what stories, science (traditional and western), issues and questions the community wanted to address.

Openness and authenticity

Community collaboration

We collaboratively developed the educational framework for the module with educators, community leaders, Hereditary Chiefs, Heiltsuk Integrated Resource Management Department (HIRMD) and the Coastal Guardian Watchmen. The sessions and interviews with these community members provided the foundation for The Harvest. The community helped to identify people, projects and stories to feature on camera, including our youth host, Jordan Wilson.

We also spent several days with Haíɫzaqv educators to develop the activities that accompany the filmed content. Together, we established a process to validate the final activities and usage of the Haíɫzaqv language in our content.

Community collaboration

A group of teachers meet with Ocean School for a workshop to set the educational framework for the Harvest content.

Ownership, cultural heritage and intellectual property

Throughout the production, we had conversations with key community members about ownership and transmission of knowledge and culture — Are there things that we shouldn’t film, or that we should only film with explicit permission? With the Heiltsuk Integrated Resource Management Department (HIRMD), we agreed that the final approval and footage should be with the community. Ocean School later returned to the community to gather feedback on early edits of the filmed content from HIRMD and community educators. We learned an incredible amount and came away with invaluable feedback. Working with our community liaison, we revised our content to address concerns from the community, including hiring a local artist, incorporating relevant Haíɫzaqv language into the scripts, and including more locally important events. Finally, we shared the revised media with the community for approval, before making them public.

Ownership, cultural heritage and intellectual property

Giving back and building capacity

We thought critically about how the community could benefit from collaborating with Ocean School. In our initial conversations with the community, we asked how we could give back. Our consulting educators identified a resource gap for educational materials that explored herring. This module intends to fill that gap.

From our consultations with the community, we also learned that limited internet speed in the region may be a barrier to using Ocean School. In the coming months, we are committed to finding a solution that will ensure that the local community has access to the resources we create.

Giving back and building capacity

Incorporating language

British Columbia is one of the most linguistically diverse places in the world, with over 34 unique Indigenous languages. Due to colonization and policies of forced assimilation, many of these languages, including Haíɫzaqv, are endangered.

Language is a source of cultural heritage and knowledge. Many Indigenous languages have words to describe concepts that do not exist in English. Ocean School has tried to incorporate Haíɫzaqv language whenever appropriate into the Harvest module. This effort was made possible by the help and guidance of Haíɫzaqv educators, community leaders, Elder Elizabeth Brown and the community Language committee.

Learn Haíɫzaqvḷa used in The Harvest

Review the slideshow to hear an Elder speak the Haíɫzaqv (Heiltsuk) words used in The Harvest content.

Open the slideshow

Learn Haíɫzaqvḷa used in The Harvest

Open the slideshow

To learn more about the Haíɫzaqv (Heiltsuk) language, please visit the following sites:

First Voices

First Voices is an online resource developed by the First Peoples' Cultural Council. The website contains searchable vocabularies in many First Nations languages, including Haíɫzaqv.

Mother Tongue Dictionaries

Search or browse 10,000 Haíɫzaqv words, and has a flashcard function to help you learn!

Indigenous story books

Indigenous Storybooks is a resource designed to make the text, images, and audio of stories available in Indigenous languages as well as English, French, and the most widely spoken immigrant and refugee languages of Canada.

Additional resources

These resources are to help support educators to facilitate the Harvest collections, and to integrate Indigenous perspectives in their classrooms.

Fem North Net - Colonialism and its impacts

This fact sheet was created by CRIAW’s Feminist Northern Network. Please visit their website to see all 10 of fact sheets on women and resource development and extraction, and other resources

Indigenous Foundations

This website was developed by the First Nations and Indigenous Studies program at the University of British Columbia. This resource provides articles about Indigenous cultures and history, addressing topics such as aboriginal identity, land rights, politics, and culture. The video archive and guide pages feature interesting content to use in class discussions.

Learning circle

This resource was created by the Canadian Government, and is a series of classroom activities to teach 12-14-year-old students about First Nations in Canada.

Pulling Together: A Guide for Curriculum Developers

This professional development guide was prepared by BCcampus and the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training for staff in post-secondary institutions. It offers an introduction to Indigenous Peoples, and how Indigenous history and realities in Canada impact education. It contains examples and strategies for incorporating Indegenous knowledge into curricula.

Secondary First People’s Teaching Resource Guide

This guide was designed for science teachers. It includes background information regarding how First Peoples’ knowledge and perspectives in science can be recognized and included in science inquiry.

Shared learnings -Integrating BC Aboriginal Content K-10

This resources offers ideas for incorporating content about BC Indigenous peoples in K-10 instruction. The instructional strategies address a variety of subjects, including drama, English language arts, health, mathematics, music, physical education, science, and social studies. It also includes guidance on teaching about sensitive topics.

We adapted our teaching tips and alerts from this guide, and it has plenty more tips and alerts to explore.

Staying the course, Staying alive -Coastal first nations fundamental truths: biodiversity, stewardship and sustainability

This resource collects traditional views on biodiversity, sustainability and stewardship shared by elders from three different coastal nations, including the Haíɫzaqv, Haida and Namgis nations. It explores the seven fundamental truths of the Coastal First Nations and celebrates their traditional knowledge through maps, illustrations, photographs and stories.


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