west shore
Mrs. Mills (Shannon Mills) from Colwood Elementary shared this photo of her students wearing orange on Monday to remember and honour the 215 children found at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Send your photos to shalu@thediscourse.ca
West Shore

West Shore This Week – Learn, honour and remember

Shalu Mehta June 2, 2021

Welcome to West Shore This Week, your cheat sheet to what’s up on the West Shore, by reporter Shalu Mehta. In this weekly newsletter you’ll find the latest news and events, highlights from The Discourse’s in-depth coverage and more. Sign up to get this in your inbox every Wednesday.


A note from your West Shore reporter

I’m a believer in the power of words but this week, they seem to fail me. My heart goes out to Indigenous folks across the country as they continue to mourn the loss of residential school victims. I’m so, so sorry.

As an immigrant settler, I know it’s my duty to learn about how colonization has affected our country and how those effects are still felt today. I promise to keep doing so and to learn how to do more. 

I want to share a couple of resources with you that have helped me learn and grow:

IndigiNews put together seven calls to action for allies. You can read them here. One of the books listed there — “Indigenous Writes” by Chelsea Vowel — is a text I have turned to many times.

I recommend familiarizing yourself with reports from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. You can find them here. Start with Volume 4: Missing Children and Unmarked Burials. A summary from CBC News of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action can also be found here

The feature film, “We Were The Children,” from the National Film Board demonstrates the profound impact of the Canadian government’s residential school system. You can find ways to watch it here. Please take care while watching this film, as it contains disturbing content about residential schools.

This website is a great way to learn about whose traditional territory you live on.

I think that as humans, our capacity to learn is so special. I hope we can use what we learn to be better, kinder people and continue to grow.


Story highlights from The Discourse

marlene clifton

Residential school victims and survivors honoured on the West Shore

Friends, family and neighbours gathered on lək̓ʷəŋən traditional territory in Langford’s downtown core and held a ceremony to honour the memory of residential school victims and survivors — particularly the 215 children whose remains were recently found at a residential school site in Kamloops, B.C. Read more about what some of them had to say and how other institutions on the West Shore are honouring Indigenous communities here.

‘It was terrifying’ says one of six people allowed to document mass arrest

IndigiNews managing editor Emilee Gilpin continues to report on what’s going on at the Fairy Creek Blockades, despite media not being given adequate access to do so. Read her latest story here.

This Cowichan Valley farm is innovating towards small-scale profitability

Farmers at Under The Oak Farm in Duncan are using permaculture to demonstrate that it is possible to have a productive, environmentally and financially sustainable farm. Read more about it here.

Syilx journalist shares how she’ll report on Kamloops Indian Residential School

IndigiNews Okanagan reporter Kelsie Kilawna writes a personal account about how news of the Kamloops Indian Residential School has affected her and her community, and how she’ll report on it moving forward. Please take care while reading this story as it contains content about residential schools that may be triggering.


COVID-19 news

  • Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reports that more than 70 per cent of adults and 67 per cent of those 12 and older have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. All B.C. residents 12 and older are encouraged to register for vaccination if they haven’t already.
  • Bus outings for long-term care residents have resumed, Island Health says. Residents are participating in activities like scenic bus tours to help them feel connected to nature and connect with the community.

News and announcements

  • Advocates say mining legislation in B.C. needs to be reformed to prevent costly conflicts, The Discourse reports. The District of Highlands is among many others in B.C. who are fighting to change legislation.
  • The Discourse and IndigiNews are going to court to defend our right to report on RCMP tactics at Fairy Creek. They’ve joined a coalition of other media to take legal action and ensure journalists aren’t prevented from doing their jobs by police. Read more about the challenge here.
  • The City of Colwood has awarded contracts for three new sidewalk and road upgrade projects. The contracts begin in June for Allandale and Veterans Memorial Parkway road improvements, the Painter Road sidewalk and the Metchosin Road sidewalk. Learn more here.
  • The Capital Regional District is considering widening and adding lighting to certain sections of the Galloping Goose and Lochside regional trails and is seeking feedback on a pathway design. Learn more and provide your input here.
  • On June 1, the province’s minimum wage increased to $15.20 an hour. The lower minimum wage for liquor servers, which resulted in discriminatory pay for women, has ended as well.
  • The City of Colwood shared a video showcasing regional support for a West Shore passenger ferry. The city is advocating for a full feasibility study to determine what the ferry would look like, how much it would cost and more.
  • Members of the Not OK Strip Mine group in the District of Highlands are taking their protest against a rock quarry operation to Thetis Lake Regional Park on June 5. The group is doing so because it’s World Environment Day and they say they want to raise awareness about the issue.

Community events

  • Now until Sunday, June 6: 🚲 Join GoByBike week and commit to ride to work, school or for fun for the week. Find more information here.
  • Month of June: 🌈 June 1 marks the start of Pride Month. Check out pre-Pride and Pride Week events hosted by the Victoria Pride Society.
  • Tuesday, June 8 to Sunday, June 13: 📖 The Belfry Theatre is hosting an online filmed reading of John Murell’s “Taking Shakespeare.” Details here.
  • Weekends until September: 🍦 Colwood Beach Food is back with food trucks at the Esquimalt Lagoon every weekend. Check out the City of Colwood’s website for dates and the vendor schedule.
  • Now through Thursday, June 10: 🎭 In lieu of putting on a traditional musical this year, Royal Bay Secondary students have produced a documentary-style musical film called “Generation Next.” Tickets to view the performance are $15. You can watch a trailer for the film here.
  • Saturdays and Sundays until June 27: 🖼 Check out Metchosin ArtPod’s latest show: Feathers, Fur and Fauna. The show is a celebration of the diversity of our natural world. More details here.
  • Deadline Saturday, June 12: 🎨 Metchosin ArtPod is inviting submissions for Fusion: Exploring Mixed Media. The deadline for submissions is June 12 and the fee is $10. Learn more here.
  • Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, June 13: 🛍 Westshore Shopping Centre and Pacific Coast Market Collective will host a Westshore Summer Market. Those who want to apply to be a vendor can do so here.
  • Saturdays through Oct. 9: 🍎 The Sooke Country Market has returned to John Phillips Memorial Park for the 2021 season. Visit the market rain or shine between 10 a.m and 2 p.m.

If you’re planning an event that I should consider for an upcoming list, send me an email and let me know.


In your words

Bev sent me an email after receiving the latest Delving Into Development story from The Discourse West Shore. 

“I really welcome your research on issues such as the Highlands rock quarry and how to change the mining legislation,” Bev says. “Dig in and tell us what you find and how people power might be applied.”

Thanks for the kind email, Bev. I’m glad I can provide stories that are empowering and of value to the community.

With gratitude,

Shalu