SWELL Wolf Education Centre’s activities for National Wolf Awareness Week

For the week of October 15-21, 2017, it was National Wolf Awareness Week in Canada & myself, Tundra, Nahanni & Mahikan were busy educating the public about wolves.

On Friday, Oct. 13, CTV News Vancouver Island had their crew in Nanaimo come out to the centre to interview myself & film the 3 wolves. Got Nahanni & Mahikan to howl for them, took Tundra on a short walk & they filmed Tundra in the house & Nahanni & Mahikan out back. At 11:30AM that Friday, I did a 30 minute radio interview on Victoria’s CFAX station which is the leading radio station in Victoria for talk shows.

On Tuesday, Oct. 17th, Bruce Stewart brought his staff & 7 students from his aboriginal education program down from Campbell River. I have known Bruce for 5 years now & he runs a great program & is very interested in the wolf & First Nations people. We watched videos, talked about the role of the wolf in their various FN cultures, observed Nahanni & Mahikan out back. We then took Tundra for a walk down at the Nanaimo River Fish Hatchery. This is a special place & Tundra really likes going there. The salmon were spawning (pinks & chum) so it was special for these students as the salmon is their staple food. We talked about how wolves fish for salmon, only eat the head, drag salmon into the forest where it helps to fertilize the trees. It was a great day.

The next day, Wed. Oct. 18 Tundra & I travelled early in the morning to Victoria where we visited 2 schools. Margaret Jenkins Elem. and Christ Church Cathedral School. At Margaret Jenkins we did 3 assemblies to accommodate the 450 students there. Shaw TV filmed us in the second assembly & CTV News finished off the filming in the third assembly. In the afternoon we moved over to Christ Church school where we did 2 assemblies & saw 160 students. Both schools were great & Tundra & I educated over 600 students that day. Tundra left such a lasting impression on all the students & staff.

The CTV News Vancouver Island clip was shown that evening on 3 separate news casts & the main CTV News in Vancouver picked it up also. This meant that it was shown to all of BC which is great exposure to educate the viewers on wolves. The comments on CTV’s website were very positive.

The news clip can be watched at http://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/video?playlistId=1.3638851 (might need to copy & paste it into your internet browser)

Shaw TV has released their video on our visit to Margaret Jenkins as well. It can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRadF6f0o4I&index=6&list=PLgwfNMiPpHAL2c3gVm6bEwdeRVTqR5a1y

The students interviewed here are from Janet Langston’s Grade 3/4 class. These students despite their young age are very knowledgeable about ecosystems & the role predators play in these ecosystems. One student sent me a thank you note (actually many students sent me letters) where he said, “Because if a whole school can go in a room with a wolf and nobody gets hurt and a grownup gets scared then hunts a wolf than thats just being immature.”

If only we could replace the current wildlife officials in many jurisdictions with these young students, they would be much better stewards of wildlife than the current stewards.