My name is Stephanie Coulson, and I work for Parks Canada on SḰŦÁMEN QENÁȽ,ENEȻ SĆȺ – Sidney Island Ecological Restoration Project. The goal of this project is to restore a healthier and more balanced forest ecosystem on SḰŦÁMEN (Sidney Island), by eradicating the invasive European fallow deer herd and re-planting native trees and shrubs. We have been very grateful to work with the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council, Tsawout First Nation, and Pauquachin First Nation on this work over the past few years.

If everything goes according to plan, the last of the invasive fallow deer will be removed from SḰŦÁMEN this fall and winter, and the island will be deer-free by April 2025. Over the next three years, we hope to plant a large number of native trees and shrubs throughout the island, to improve forest health, provide food and shelter for wildlife, and support W̱SÁNEĆ harvesting and stewardship in the future.

With that in mind, I am reaching out today to invite you to a W̱SÁNEĆ community planning event on SḰŦÁMEN at the end of May. Parks Canada would like to work with W̱SÁNEĆ community members to discuss long-term visions for SḰŦÁMEN, and figure out how to best support stewardship and harvesting practices now and into the future. In particular, we’d like to work with community members to create sites specifically designed for future harvesting, if that’s of interest: things like food or medicine gardens, orchards, berry patches, specific tree species that are hard to find elsewhere, or anything else that would be useful to the communities.


Thursday May 30th and/or Friday May 31st, 9am-4pm. Attendance at both days not required. Early departure can be arranged (for example, for school groups who need to return to the school after lunch).


Parks Canada will provide boat transportation by either a) picking folks up from the Tulista boat launch, or b) purchasing tickets on the Sidney Spit ferry (best for anyone with mobility challenges).


  • Parks Canada personnel will share some information about current and proposed restoration work (e.g., invasive plant removal; planting native trees and shrubs; ecological thinning and wildfire risk reduction work).
  • Some short-distance walking on established trails to visit current and potential restoration sites for anyone who wants to join. Some transportation will be available (e.g., ATVs) to support anyone with mobility challenges.
  • Seating will be provided in shaded locations.
  • Lunch will be provided.

This invitation is open to all W̱SÁNEĆ community members or anyone who works closely with the W̱SÁNEĆ communities (like the folks at PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱!)

If you have any questions or want more information, please don’t hesitate to send me an email or give me a call at 250-552-0154.