Thank you to everyone who attended this Foodlands site visit on the sc̓e:ɬxʷəy̓əm. The sc̓e:ɬxʷəy̓əm (Salmon River) in Langley, on the shared territory of the Kwantlen, Katzie, Semiahmoo and Matsqui Nations. On October 13, 2022, the Rivershed Team was thrilled to welcome BC Finance Minister, the Honourable Selina Robinson (MLA, Coquitlam-Maillardville) to a Foodlands Corridor…
Foodlands Corridor Restoration Program
We are collaborating with First Nations and agricultural landholders to restore portions of private land adjacent to waterways within the Fraser Watershed.
As a decolonized approach to habitat restoration, Foodlands features collaboration with First Nations through the co-design of corridor sites, the integration of traditional knowledge and language, and the creation of local jobs.
Foodlands strives to be an ethical space of engagement by convening people who wouldn’t ordinarily meet. Bringing together agricultural landholders, First Nations rights and title holders, and other community stakeholders to develop a collective restoration vision, the Foodlands program addresses both environmental and cultural concerns, creating a space for cross-cultural learning, together, on the land and about the land.
What is a Foodlands Corridor?
Foodlands Corridors are created by restoring and connecting adjacent parcels of privately held land to form a natural corridor. The term Foodlands acknowledges a diversity of food harvesting systems, both from a western farming and traditional hunting and gathering perspective. A restored Foodlands Corridor supports a food system that is healthy, sustainable, just, and inclusive.
History of Agriculture and the stɑl̓əw̓ (Fraser Watershed)
For hundreds of years, farming and other colonial land uses have caused degradation of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, subsequently impacting the communities that depend on the stɑl̓əw̓ for their food systems and livelihoods. Historically, Canada’s approach to conservation has been grounded in the colonial idea of preserving natural landscapes, often without the consent of those who have stewarded these lands for thousands of years and with little regard for their health and well-being.
Foodlands recenters local Indigenous knowledge, ecological values, and cultural practices, making them the heart of restoration and land stewardship work to connect, protect and restore the Fraser Watershed.
“stɑl̓əw̓” is the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ word for the Fraser River. hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ is the Downriver dialect of Halkomelem; one of many Indigenous languages spoken across the Fraser Watershed. Translations provided by knowledge keepers and speakers from the Kwantlen and Katzie Nations.
sc̓e:ɬxʷəy̓əm (Salmon River) Corridor
“sc̓e:ɬxʷəy̓əm” is the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ word for the Salmon River. hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ is the Downriver dialect of Halkomelem. Translations provided by knowledge keepers and speakers from the Kwantlen and Katzie Nations.
Rivershed is implementing a Foodlands corridor on the sc̓e:ɬxʷəy̓əm (Salmon River) in Langley, in the shared territory of the Kwantlen, Katzie, Semiahmoo and Matsqui Nations. We are working in collaboration with səýeḿ Qwantlen (the business subsidiary of the Kwantlen First Nation), Langley Environmental Partners Society, Kerr Wood Leidal, Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance, Kwantlen Land Guardians, and multiple landholders along the river.
At various stages throughout project planning, Rivershed is consulting and working with Kwantlen and Katzie Knowledge Holders to integrate culturally significant plants in the habitat restoration plans, which also focus on the animals and other targeted species that have been harvested and hunted for spiritual, nutritional, and/or medicinal purposes. To uphold the traditional place, plant and animal names, Knowledge Holders are providing translations in local dialects of Halkomelem.
Drag the line to the right and left to see a “before” photo of a floodplain at the site during construction, and “after” the restoration work was finished.
“Before” photo by Al Jonsson. “After” photo by Kendra Nelson.
In 2021, work began in the sc̓e:ɬxʷəy̓əm corridor with two parcels located on the floodplain of the river. In an area wrought with invasive Reed Canary Grass, the team replanted 4,642 m2 of the riparian zone with endemic species that will provide abundant instream and overhead cover for salmon and enhance the biodiversity of aquatic, avian, and terrestrial species within the corridor. The project has also created approximately 2,870 m2 of new or restored wetted habitat for overwintering kwóxweth / kʷəxʷəθ (coho salmon).
As of Fall 2022, Foodlands has restored 6 of 12 potential parcels within the sc̓e:ɬxʷəy̓əm corridor. With 12,000 endemic plants already in the ground and nearly 11,000 m2 (1.1 hectares) of restored natural area along the river, Foodlands aims to restore another 1.5 to 2.5 hectares to create a fully restored Foodlands Corridor on the sc̓e:ɬxʷəy̓əm.
Drag the line left and right to see an off-channel wetted habitat that was created. The before image is during construction, and the after photo is the off-channel habitat one year later.
“Before” photo by Brendan Chu of NERV productions.
Restore species-at-risk habitat on the sc̓e:ɬxʷəy̓əm (Salmon River) through the removal of invasive species, endemic replanting, building bat and owl boxes, creating off channel wetlands and creating a robust riparian buffer.
Cultivate cross-cultural understanding of Indigenous food systems and land management at the direction of səýeḿ Qwantlen and Kwantlen First Nation through the planning, implementation and maintenance of the project site.
Foodlands is currently enhancing and building new relationships within the Nechako region of the Fraser Watershed, within the territories of the Stellat’en, Nadleh Whut’en, and Saik’uz Nations. The Foodlands team is exploring an opportunity for establishing the first restoration sites for a Foodlands Corridor within the region. We are continuing to learn about priority areas and issues, the impacts of logging, farming, and ranching in the area, while working towards developing collaborative relationships with landholders, other organizations and local communities. Stay tuned for updates via our blog and socials!
“Rivershed is nothing short of a first-class organization. From the leadership down to the boots on the ground! The pilot project was well organized, and everyone involved knew exactly what the plans were on a daily, weekly basis. One day, I was building fencing and walked over to where the main stem channel connected to the Salmon River and was stopped in my tracks. I saw a six-inch Coho leave our habitat and enter the river! That moment made all the hard workdays worth it! The feeling of seeing that fish using a habitat I was part of creating will stick with me forever.”
Kelly Yates, Kwantlen First Nation Elder and key team member.
Foodlands is Expanding
Interested in learning more about Foodlands? Please fill in the following information and a member of the Foodlands team will be in touch!
Foodlands Corridor Restoration Program Funders
This restoration work was supported by the Healthy Watersheds Initiative, a program funded by the Government of British Columbia and delivered by The Real Estate Foundation of BC in partnership with Watersheds BC.
This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal Department of Environment and Climate Change. Ce projet a été réalisé avec l’appui financier du gouvernement du Canada agissant par l’entremise du ministère fédéral de l’Environnement et du Changement climatique.
Additional funding support provided by Dr. Bronner’s, Instafund and the Pacific Salmon Foundation Community Salmon Program.
Support our work to connect, protect and restore the Fraser Watershed.