Welcome to the Seasonal Calendar page of the Commemorating Ye'yumnuts website. Here you will find a variety of resources designed to aid teachers and students in the participation of place-based learning at Ye'yumnuts. Making multiple visits to Ye'yumnuts throughout the semester and creating a seasonal calendar together is a great way to get outside on the land and to engage the hearts, minds, and senses of students in a way that embodies the First Peoples Principles of Learning. Furthermore, both Indigenous and non-indigenous students alike can share experiences in, and an appreciation for, a place that is significant for Cowichan people in their community.
The activity is simple, and can be easily adapted to any age group or to suit the curriculum requirements for a variety of subjects (a quick-guide to carrying out a seasonal calendar activity with students can be found below). The intention here is to highlight Cowichan conceptions of time that reflect intimate ecological knowledge of seasonal indicators as well as respectful and reciprocal relationships with the land and non-human beings. A seasonal calendar activity can also be used as a catalyst for engaging students in further related discussions on sustainable and traditional land management systems, diverse approaches to conservation and the importance of protecting endangered ecosystems, Cowichan spiritual and cultural practices, barriers to indigenous food sovereignty and food security, and discussions on knowledge sharing and connecting Ye'yumnuts to a broader cultural landscape.
Resources provided here:
- Example of a Seasonal Calendar
- Months of the Year (Hul'q'umi'num' language & translation)
- A guide for teachers on how to carry out a seasonal calendar project of their own with their students (adaptable to many age groups and subjects)
- A list of suggested topics of discussion and associated activities to accompany your calendar project construction and seasonal site visits as well as a list of archaeologically documented species found at Ye'yumnuts.
The above calendar illustrates some key species, food resources, and cultural activities observed by Cowichan throughout the calendar year. The seasonal availability of each species or occurrence of activity is indicated by its relative placement on the calendar. The blue and orange arrows indicate seasonal cooling and warming temperatures. The two shaded circles placed within the calendar are representative of day length at different times of year (darker shading = shorter days in fall/winter months, lighter shading = longer days in spring/summer months). A short description and theme of each season is provided in text along with a list of translated Hul'q'umi'num' words relating to weather, colours, and cultural activities that might be associated with each season. Months were not used in this case to emphasize that Cowichan conceptions of time are indicator-based and not arbitrary. A full list of month names and their Hul'q'umi'num' translations which reflect the origin and purpose of their meaning can be found below on this webpage.
Please note that the archaeologically documented list of species found at Ye'yumnuts can be an extrodinarily useful tool for the development of a variety of activities at the site and in the classroom.