by Patrick Strzalkowski

Our class left for Hesquiat territory on the morning of August 24th in the water taxi Wolf Dancer. For two hours we travelled north along the western side of Vancouver Island, covered at the time by a dense fog. The seven of us eventually arrived at the Hooksum Outdoor School run by Steve and Karen Charleson. Hooksum educates about 100 people every year. Most visitors, staying for 28 days, are trained in first aid and kayak guiding. On top of the two certificates, students learn to be comfortable in Hesquiaht territory. We too were invited to treat Hooksum, as Steve and Karen put it, “not like a remote wilderness nor like an adventure holiday, but instead like our own living room.” This was the first gesture in welcoming us into their “hahoutli.”


Should science play a greater role in political decisions? 
If so, how? 

by Nick Dell 

                                2013 Philosophy field Course meeting Mayor Josie Osborne (center).

Scientific literacy amongst the voting population is a serious issue. The Canadian Federal Government is cutting funding to “pure” (non-industry related) science at an alarming rate. These actions suggest that, in the eyes of some, scientific information is not relevant for political decisions. Our experiences in Clayoquot Sound spoke to this issue in a number of ways. Josie Osborne, mayor of Tofino, is trained as an environmental scientist but now finds herself in the role of a political decision maker. This causes her to reflect on the ways that science is and ought to be perceived.  


Fish farming and the Precautionary Principle:  How opposing views on risk influence the aquaculture debate in Clayoquot Sound.

By Catherine Wisniowski and S. Linquist

There is no doubt that the environmentalist group, the Friends of Clayoquot Sound (FOCS) do not see eye-to-eye with the two aquaculture companies operating in the Clayoquot Biosphere Reserve.  But what exactly is at issue between these groups, and is there room for rational dialogue? Here it is argued that these groups are divided over their assessment of risk. Based on what the two groups value, they either accept or reject the precautionary principle (PP), resulting in disagreement on what an allowable amount of risk should be for aquaculture. Looking at how each group responds to this Principle both explains the source of their disagreement and points towards an avenue for progress in this debate.