HAT helping Tsartlip Save Sacred Senanus Island

Ray Sam visited SENINES (Senanus) Island for the last time in 2009 to support the restoration efforts of Tsartlip youth maintaining the threatened Garry oak meadows of this sacred place in the Saanich Inlet.


Sam passed away in 2010, leaving a very small group of SENCOTEN language speakers to maintain their cultural heritage. Tsartlip Elder Anne Sam and language apprentice MENEŦIYE (Munuthia Elliott) welcomed HAT to the Island along with members of Peninsula Streams and the KENNES (Hagan Creek) Watershed Project. For several years we have been clearing invasive transformer plants like broom and daphne, while seeding in native food plants like camas and chocolate lily.

Maintaining the language and the land go hand in hand. SENCOTEN is also now taught for one hour a day to students at Lauwelnew Tribal School in an effort to revive the language. Munuthia is one of six Sencoten language apprentices hoping to become fluent while the eight remaining fluent speakers, most of whom are in their 80's, are still alive.

"The language is like a poem and a song. Everything has a deeper meaning than just the words," Munuthia said.

An example are the words for different types of clams which reflect the traditional story that humans who ran away from the Creator were turned into clams and forced to hide in holes.

The word for butter clam translates into “why-are-you-there”, Munuthia said.

Munuthia volunteers at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney, where amazing displays of ocean life feature native names alongside English ones.

To learn more about HAT volunteer opportunities and projects, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 250 995-2428.

-Todd Carnahan


What Have You Seine Today?


The weather is warming up and that can only mean one thing - time to get out and explore our natural surroundings! We want to give you the heads up on an exciting guided walk we are doing with the Capital Regional District (CRD) Regional Parks.

Who: CRD Regional Parks' Naturalist and Habitat Acquisition Trust

When: Saturday, June 4th - 10:00-11:30am

Where: Witty's Lagoon Regional Park/ In the ocean!

This event is open to all ages and we encourage families to come out and get their feet wet as we explore creatures in the ocean. We will be using a seine net to see what lives deeper in the ocean: fish with horns and much, much more! Be prepared to get your feet wet (bring sandals or beach shoes). Meet by the information kiosk at the end of Witty Beach Rd. There is public transportation available by taking BC Transit bus #54 or #55. This is an exciting opportunity for people of all ages to learn more about what lives in our oceans, we hope to see you there!

The CRD is offering a plethora of amazing walks and tours all summer- check em out!


CRD Parks


Community Support - The Good Planet Company


Here at HAT we rely on the support from members, donors, foundations and businesses in the community to keep our programs vibrant and to protect land permanently. Our latest support comes from a local business that puts the environment first. We are pleased to announce that through the 1% For The Planet program through the Victoria Foundation, The Good Planet Company has chosen HAT for their 1%. We couldn't be more pleased to have such a wonderful group of people helping us reach our goals. We spoke briefly with The Good Planet Company to see what inspired them and what was new at their Fort Street location.



Why did you choose Habit Acquisition Trust?

When the decision was made to do 1% For The Planet, the Good Planet team members each nominated the organizations that we thought were making a difference.  The list was actually quite short, because we all like the same organizations.  The next step was a bit more challenging. After looking at the merits of each organization and discussing them we each chose our top 4.

HAT was an easy fit.  We all chose environmental organizations that are making real difference in our community. We particularly like HAT's monitoring, education and habitat protection.

What issues are important to The Good Planet Co?

The Good Planet Company was founded on principles of treading lightly and helping our customers do the same. We appreciate that the experts at HAT contribute science to local decisions. We really like that HAT holds covenants that will protect habitats in perpetuity.

What inspired you to take part in the 1% For The Planet Program?

Being part of 1% For The Planet allows us to make a public commitment while expressing our values in a concrete way. It aligns us with other businesses that we strongly respect.

What is new and exciting at The Good Planet Co?

We continue to scour the world for products and innovations which can help our customers live with lighter footprints and make it easy to take.  The most exciting of our new products is the Sienna Bed.  This Natural Rubber Mattress and Foundation have many of the features of our other models while using fewer raw materials and is also easier on your budget. Since natural rubber mattresses last 20-30 years, the investment is a wise one. The Sienna is creating quite a stir.

We offer our thanks once again to The Good Planet Company, The Victoria Foundation and 1% For The Planet for helping to bring our community together. We encourage you to visit their websites to see what else they have been up to.






Four Spots Left for Brentwood Bay Boat Trip!

When: Wednesday, May 25th

Where: Senanus Island

Time: 9:00-3:00pm

Four spaces left for Brentwood Bay boat trip to legendary Senanus Island with Tsartlip 1st Nation elders and HAT habitat restoration crew. Call 250-995-2428 and ask for Todd to reserve your seat.

Photo by Todd Carnahan:


Holding a clam harvested by youth for their elders, 2009 was Ray Sam’s last visit to SENINES (Senanus) Island, a sacred place in Tsartlip Territory. His death in 2010 left only a handful of fluent SENCOTEN language speakers in the community, but the Lauwelnew School is expanding, and the Coast Saalish people are renewing cultural practices like the First Salmon Ceremony.

See it for yourself at the Tsawout First Nation’s Seafood Feast (by donation) on June 11th, 10am - 4pm



Havenwood Park Blog

Gary Neilson, friend of Havenwood Park and volunteer extraordinaire, has started a new blog to "help promote and share ideas on the conservation and recreational values" at Havenwood Park.  He has already posted some beatiful pictures of wildflowers in Havenwood, and a video showing broom encroachment on the wildlfower meadows.

Check it out and leave comments at http://havenwoodpark.wordpress.com/.

Here is one of Gary's pictures, shamelessly stolen from his blog of Chickweed Monkey Flower.

Gary Neilson - havenwood.wordpress.com


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