Estuary Voices

In 2012 filmmaker Tom Shandel created these short films in which Cowichan Estuary “elders” talk about their perspectives on the estuary.

Tom Paterson is the premier historian of southern Vancouver Island. He writes a column in a local newspaper and is the author of numerous books about the history of the Cowichan Valley and surrounding areas.

Alex Johnny is a Quw’utsun’ elder.  His land is on Green Point, on the north shore of the Cowichan Estuary.

Greg Best is a local Cowichan Bay sustainable small boat fisher and, with his wife Anne, owns and operates Cowichan Bay Seafood in the village of Cowichan Bay.

Dr. Bill Austin is a renowned marine biologist.  In addition to scientific work in the Cowichan Estuary, he created the Marine Ecology Station, a floating educational laboratory for school groups, summer camps, courses, and casual visitors.  His work was the inspiration for the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney and the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre.

Fred Roland (Hwiemtun) is a First Nations cultural educator from Cowichan Tribes. The estuary is part of the unceded traditional territory of the Quw’utsun’ people.

David Thompson is a naturalist and a founding member of the Cowichan Estuary Preservation Society.