Community-connected science for a healthy Xwulqw’selu (KoKsilah) watershed


Welcome! It is good to see you here.

‘Uy’ kwunus ‘i lumnamu.

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Xwulqw’selu Connections brings people together to learn where streams go dry in the Xwulqw’selu Watershed and how they could begin to flow more. The amount of water flowing in the Koksilah River in the summer is dangerously low, and streams that feed the river go bone dry. Farmers can’t water their crops sometimes, and salmon struggle to survive.

Leaders from Cowichan Tribes and British Columbia are developing BC’s first Water Sustainability Plan for Xwulqw’selu. Our community-based monitoring, modeling and engagement all support this important plan to ensure there’s enough water to sustain all life in Xwulqw’selu communities, parks, forests, river and streams.

What we connect

Connections are at the heart of what we do.

We connect groundwater and surface water

We make observations of the water we can see in streams, creeks, and rivers (surface water) to reveal how these are connected with the water beneath our feet (ground water). We enjoy seeing what a place looks like and how it feels to be there – day by day, week by week, or as the season changes. We get to know the place, and our place in it.

We connect with people in the watershed

We have fun meeting new people and learning about each other. We share food and stories from our visits to the land, and we appreciate what connects and feeds us. We acknowledge and endeavor to elevate Indigenous relationships with the Xwulqw’selu Sta’lo. We offer gratitude and respect to the Peoples who have stewarded lands and waters since time immemorial.

We connect water science with how water decisions are made

As a community science project supporting the Water Sustainability plan, we are working to ensure that community data and engagement inform and contribute to better water planning.

Xwulqw’selu is the Hul’qumi’num’ word for the anglicized version ‘Koksilah’. There are many ways to learn more about Hul’qumi’num’ language and pronunciation including this dictionary, SFU continuing ed, and Jared Qwustenuxun Williams’ video. By using Xwulqw’selu for our project name, we are following the Xwulqw’selu Water Sustainability Plan and calls to action for natural scientists working towards reconciliation (Call 6 to incorporate Indigenous place names). Other pages on this website include Quw’utsun traditional teachings that were identified as teachings that should be used to guide the water sustainability planning process for the Xwulqw’selu Sta’lo’.