Indigenous Knowledge, Science, & Resource Management Field School

A partnership between the UVic Department of Geography and the QQS Projects Society of the Heiltsuk First Nation

Jess Housty leads a hands-on experience learning about a millennia-old clam garden and the Indigenous Knowledge systems that supported them (Photo by Chris Darimont)

Chris Darimont and students inspect a grizzly bear 'stomp trail' - a path created through the ritualized stepping of generations of bears at Koeye (Photo by Elias del Valle)

On a fine May day, freshly picked seaweed dries on the beach at Bella Bella, where connections between people and resources abound (Photo by Elias del Valle)

Interacting with multiple research projects at Koeye, students help measure juvenile salmon smolts before they are released (Photo by Kear Porttris)

The lodge at Koeye river (Photo by Kear Porttris)

Geography 453 students in Heiltsuk/Wuikinuxv Territories, coastal BC

Update: The Department of Geography is currently intending to offer this field school program in-person next in Summer 2022, and annually thereafter. Please stay tuned for any new information as it becomes available!

When and Where

2021 Online version of Field School: May 3rd - 13th

How to Apply

Apply in: Spring term

Applications are now closed for 2021. Stay tuned for future offerings!

Contact if you have any questions.

Program Overview

Please note: The 2021 offering of this field school has been adapted to fit into an online format.

For a full program description, see the Information Sheet.

The Indigenous Knowledge, Science & Resource Management Field School  is typically based in the village of Bella Bella, Heiltsuk Territory, and the remote Koeye River Lodge. It is co-instructed by Jess Housty of the Qqs Projects Society and Chris Darimont of UVic Geography.


  • Students should have third or fourth year standing, or be granted special permission to register.
  • This field school is designed primarily as a capstone experience for senior students, but the selection committee will consider other applicants based on a variety of factors, including course, life, and work experience. We are particularly interested in students from coastal Indigenous communities in the area (and offer fellowships to eligible applicants; please see below).
  • Finally, we ask applicants to answer several questions, which allows us to assess the fit of each applicant and what they could contribute to the learning and community-engaged experience. We typically receive many more applications that the 15-20 spots available.

If you have any further questions about the course, please email Chris Darimont at



This field school is comprised of one course worth 1.5 credits.  Successful applicants will be registered in the course through special registration by the Department of Geography (students will not register themselves). Students at other institutions will need to register as a visiting student at UVic before enrolling.  Those students can ask program counsellors at their home institutions about transfer credit, which we will support.

  1. Geog 453– Field Studies in Coastal and Marine Resources

Field School Fees

This year’s online delivery will have no associated field school fees. Tuition, however, is the standard amount for 1.5 unit courses at UVic.

Financial Support

Students identifying as Indigenous, especially from the Indigenous Nations of the area, are encouraged to apply for the Edward Martin Memorial Field School Award, also by March 31.