by Erin Hogan

July 10, 2018. As we prepare to cross over the international border later today, we have to say goodbye to the little home we’ve made on Patricia Bay in North Saanich. We have spent the last six days camping in the backyard of the Rashleigh-Reid family, learning about community-based restoration and ocean conservation and hearing stories and knowledge from WSANEC leaders. This week has provided us with many opportunities to actively practice our own leadership styles and learn from the leadership of those around us.

One of the readings in our Leadership for Community Action course speaks to the idea of leaders being “hosts not heroes”. It is not up to the leader to single-handedly save the world but rather to mobilize the hearts and minds of everyone in our workplace and communities. The hosts who invite and foster participation from all community members are the people who exhibit strong leadership.

Our Redfish community had a wonderful opportunity this week to both literally and figuratively host some visitors at a community mapping event in the Rashleigh-Reids’ yard. The results of the evening would not have been possible without the input and effort of each and every one of us. With our hosts Morgan, Jen, Nina, and Owen’s help we were able to transform our scattered home base into a party space. Decorations were made; pizza toppings were prepared; a mapping station was set up; elixirs were brewed; and a little party hat was even made for our small Redfish mascot, Rudy.

As guests rolled in we had the opportunity to learn from others and get their input on our community mapping endeavors. The theme of this event was ‘water’: we investigated what water can do for us and what we can do for the water within the Salish Sea. It was interesting to bring in people who were not participants in Redfish and see what different perspectives and lenses they could provide. This event was valuable for many reasons. It built upon our growing sense of community within Redfish by providing us with an event to mobilize around and common goals to work towards. It also exposed us to other points of view that we could learn from and incorporate into our own experience moving through the Salish Sea.

The remainder of the evening was spent enjoying delicious wood-fired pizza, dancing to fiddle tunes, and engaging in meaningful conversations. Evenings such as these will be one of the reasons that we will miss our time on the Saanich Peninsula, however, we are all looking forward to bringing our knowledge forward and seeing what the next two weeks will bring.


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