RETURN TO WATER – NIC ECCE Student Incubator

May 10 2022 / 10:00am - September 10 2022 / 6:00pm

Installation presentation in CVAG’s Community Gallery + Lower Level Studio

North Island College Early Childhood Care + Education program students in collaboration with Early Learning Childhood Education Centres:

Destiny Speck – Qualicum First Nations Childcare / Headstart
Sophie Smith – Three Tree Early Learning Centre
Kelsi Martens – Queneesh Elementary / Strong Start
Sophie LaPlante – Tigger Too Pre-School
Maddy King – Campbell River Community Pre-School
Barb Lanyon – Beaufort Children’s Centre / Orca Room
Zoe David – Beaufort Children’s Centre / Ladybug Room
Lyss Brush – Hand in Hand Nature Education / Comox Red Cedar
Tianna Belanger – Forest Circle Childcare
Cara Beckman – Courtenay Elementary / Strong Start

Project Statement:

We are born from the watery womb of our mothers into the earth’s embrace.

What are our youngest citizens asking of us? What is the other- than-human world asking of us? How might we respond to water’s invitation, to her life-giving calI in these times of great urgency, as if all life, human and other- than-human, depended on it? 

Robin Wall Kimmerer writes:

A bay is a noun only if water is dead. When bay is a noun, it is defined by humans, trapped between its shores and contained by the word. But the verb wiikwegamaa—to be a bay—releases the water from bondage and lets it live. “To be a bay” holds the wonder that, for this moment, the living water has decided to shelter itself between these shores, conversing with cedar roots and a flock of baby mergansers. Because it could do otherwise—become a stream or an ocean or a waterfall, and there are verbs for that, too. To be a hill, to be a sandy beach, to be a Saturday, all are possible verbs in a world where everything is alive. Water, land, and even a day, the language a mirror for seeing the animacy of the world, the life that pulses through all things, through pines and nuthatches and mushrooms. This is the language I hear in the woods; this is the language that lets us speak of what wells up all around us.[…] This is the grammar of animacy. (Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass, 2015)

Provocations we are thinking about:

What is water?
Where does it come from?
What is the shape of water?
What form does water take?
Where do we find water?
How are we in relationship with water?
What are the ways we engage with water?
How is water part of our everyday life?
Who lives beneath the sea, lakes, and rivers, marshes, trees?
How does water hold us? How do we hold water?
Who has clean water /who does not? What does this mean?
What does the preciousness of water ask of us?
What can water teach us?

Lesley Henderson – PSI Pedagogist – Early Childhood Pedagogy Network (ECPN) / North Island College instructor
Cathy Batho – North Island College instructor

On behalf of our students in the ECCE certificate program at North Island College, and the Early Childhood Education Centres listed above, we would like to offer our great thanks to the Comox Valley Art Gallery and Fathom Sounds Art Collective for this exciting opportunity to be invited to participate in the RETURN TO WATER FESTIVAL. The practicum inquiry projects respond to the theme, as well as to the exhibition Salt-Stained Streaks of a Worthwhile Grief. We are excited to collaborate with CVAG on this community incubator that brings together diverse learning groups and to explore issues ‘related to perceptions of water, use of water, effects of climate change, and the concept of water as a living entity.’