GRAND honours and supports grandparents by providing information on resources and businesses for families and a forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions: Relearning History: A Tour to Kiixin • Summertime Is Grandparent Time • Helping Kids Face Their Fears

GRAND honours and supports grandparents by providing information on resources and businesses for families and a forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions: Relearning History: A Tour to Kiixin • Summertime Is Grandparent Time • Helping Kids Face Their Fears


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<strong>Vol</strong>. <strong>VI</strong>, <strong>Ed</strong>. <strong>III</strong><br />

<strong>GRAND</strong><br />

grandmag.ca<br />

Summertime Is<br />

Grandparent Time<br />

Helping Kids<br />

Face Their Fears<br />

Relearning<br />

History<br />

A Tour to Kiixin

Explore<br />

Relearning History<br />

A Tour to Kiixin<br />

The sky is overcast but the rain is<br />

holding off as we gather at the Kiixin<br />

Tour Office on the East Government<br />

Dock in Bamfield. There are 10 of my<br />

family members present, spanning three<br />

generations, all eager to follow a Traditional<br />

Knowledge Holder through lush<br />

rainforest to an ancient village site on<br />

the west coast of Vancouver Island. Stella<br />

Peters introduces herself as our guide for<br />

the morning, and it’s clear at once that<br />

we’re in good hands. There’s a final washroom<br />

run once we’ve signed our paperwork,<br />

and then we pile into our cars and<br />

following Stella’s truck a short distance<br />

back down the Bamfield Highway and<br />

onto a private gravel road.<br />

With two giant carved figures to welcome<br />

us, the trailhead is impossible to<br />

miss. The figures are Nutchkoa and Hominiki,<br />

we later learn, the first ancestors<br />

of the Huu-ay-aht, one of the Nuu-chahnulth<br />

peoples. As impressive as they are,<br />

the two figures are significantly smaller<br />

than the original carvings first erected in<br />

the village of Kiixin over 160 years ago.<br />

Taken from Kiixin in 1911, the original<br />

figures now stand watch in the lobby<br />

of the Royal BC Museum. New, full-size<br />

figures were carved and installed at the<br />

entrance to the House of Huu-ay-aht at<br />

Pachena Bay in 2000.<br />

As we join the other tour participants<br />

in the shelter at the trailhead, Stella<br />

shares this and more. “Journey with our<br />

ancestors” is one of the taglines of the<br />

tour—and with Stella’s guidance that is<br />

exactly what we do. Her words and visual<br />

materials take us from the distant past to<br />

the present. We learn about the ancient<br />

site itself, a 19th century village and fortress<br />

that shows evidence of continuous<br />

occupation for at least 3,000 years—and<br />

as much as 5,000 years, according to oral<br />

tradition. We learn about the archeological<br />

surveys that Stella participated in—<br />

and her Nation’s decision not to proceed<br />

with a full-scale excavation. We learn<br />

about the traditional skills and practices<br />

that allowed the Huu-ay-aht to live in<br />

this area for millennia. Best of all, we<br />

receive this information from a Traditional<br />

Knowledge Holder rather than an<br />

“outside,” non-indigenous source.<br />

As we move through time, Stella’s<br />

words inevitably lead to more painful<br />

territory—the decimation of the Huu-ayaht<br />

population as the result of European<br />

diseases, the loss of cultural treasures to<br />

19th and 20th century collectors, and the<br />

tragic consequences of the residential<br />

school system. These are difficult but<br />

necessary subjects, and Stella discusses<br />

them in a manner that is both matterof-fact<br />

and sensitive to the presence of<br />

children on the tour.<br />

With our guide’s introduction complete,<br />

we start down the rainforest trail<br />

towards the village site. The trail is not<br />

particularly long (at least not for our<br />

family of hikers), but we take our time,<br />

moving carefully down flights of stairs<br />

and over long sections of boardwalk.<br />

There are frequent stops as well, as<br />

Stella points out things of interest. I’m<br />

fascinated by the culturally modified<br />

trees—ancient cedars with strips of bark<br />

removed for clothing and basket-making,<br />

and other trees with entire planks missing<br />

for cradles, boxes and houses.<br />

Finally, we reach our destination. I’ve<br />

had the privilege of visiting many west<br />

coast beaches and coves, but this one is<br />

particularly breathtaking. It’s a strategic<br />



location as well as a picturesque one, set<br />

for defensive reasons “between the rugged<br />

outer coast and the protected inner<br />

waters of Barkley Sound.” Today there’s<br />

a bear waiting to greet us as we reach the<br />

sand. We keep a respectful distance, and<br />

the bear eventually wanders off—into<br />

the very section of the forest where Stella<br />

was planning to lead us. While we wait<br />

for the bear to wander a little further, we<br />

take out our packed lunches and have a<br />

quick picnic.<br />

Kiixin was the traditional capital village<br />

of the Huu-ay-aht, and it remains a<br />

sacred site. According to Parks Canada,<br />

“it is the only known First Nations village<br />

of more than 100 villages on the southern<br />

B.C. coast that still features significant,<br />

standing traditional architecture.”<br />

To see the remains of these structures<br />

in person, and to hear dramatic stories<br />

from a descendant of the resourceful and<br />

courageous people who lived on the site<br />

for millennia, is an unforgettable experience.<br />

As a child growing up in Nanaimo, I<br />

had very little knowledge of the complex<br />

indigenous cultures that existed on Vancouver<br />

Island before the first newcomers<br />

disembarked from their ships. The curriculum<br />

didn’t cover much local history<br />

back then, and what I did learn mostly<br />

began with the arrival of European explorers<br />

in the 1700’s.<br />

Things are different for my grandchildren—and<br />

for that I am profoundly<br />

grateful. I am especially grateful to Stella<br />

Peters and other Traditional Knowledge<br />

Holders across the Island who are sharing<br />

their stories and cultural teachings<br />

so generously. We can’t change the past,<br />

but we can certainly be intentional about<br />

how we go forward—and learning what<br />

we didn’t know before is an essential part<br />

of that process.<br />

Kiixin Tours are offered from the May<br />

long weekend to Labour Day. While the<br />

4-hour morning tour worked best for<br />

our extended family, there is also an<br />

evening tour, which includes songs and<br />

drumming on the beach. Headlamps or<br />

flashlights and a towel or blanket to sit<br />

on are required on the evening tour. The<br />

hike into Kiixin is rated “moderate plus,”<br />

thanks to uneven terrain, potentially<br />

slippery boardwalks and a steep flight<br />

of stairs down to the beach. According<br />

to the tour website, people with injuries,<br />

mobility challenges or hiking-restricted<br />

medical conditions cannot be accommodated.<br />

Children aged seven and older are welcome<br />

on the tour, as long as they are accompanied<br />

by a parent or guardian aged<br />

19 years or older. For more information,<br />

visit kiixin.ca/tour.<br />

Rachel Dunstan Muller is a<br />

children’s author, storyteller,<br />

podcaster and grandmother.<br />

You can find her podcasts<br />

Hintertales: Stories from the<br />

Margins of History and Sticks<br />

and Stones and Stories<br />

through her website at<br />

racheldunstanmuller.com.<br />


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<strong>Vol</strong>. <strong>VI</strong>, <strong>Ed</strong>. <strong>III</strong> 3

Grandparenting<br />

Helping Kids Face Their Fears<br />

Every child passes through that<br />

stage of being afraid of monsters—under<br />

the bed, in dark<br />

corners, down in the basement—it<br />

seems to be a universal childhood fear.<br />

This fear can take root before a child<br />

is at an age when a parent can even<br />

reason with them and provide logical<br />

explanations, and even then, that<br />

assurance rarely seems to allay such<br />

deep-seated phobias. And some children’s<br />

fairy tales only serve to fan the<br />

fire—the witch in Hansel and Gretel<br />

who cooks children, the giant in Jack<br />

and Beanstalk who will “grind Jack’s<br />

bones to make his bread” or the big,<br />

bad wolf in The Three Little Pigs who is<br />

out to devour some piggies.<br />

I’ve had these experiences with<br />

my own sons, and now predictably,<br />

my young grandson seems to be going<br />

through the same phase. This was<br />

made clear to me on a recent trip to<br />

the public library. Whenever we visit<br />

the library, I turn my grandson lose in<br />

the children’s section where he will<br />

often tuck himself away with a book<br />

that catches his interest. On this particular<br />

visit, I didn’t notice he had his<br />

nose in a book about monsters until<br />

he asked me to put it back because it<br />

was scaring him. As we walked home<br />

afterwards, I noticed he wouldn’t hold<br />

my hand. Any time I extended my<br />

hand to him, he shied away from me to<br />

the other side of the sidewalk. When I<br />

asked him what was wrong, he said he<br />

didn’t want to hold my hand because<br />

he was afraid I was going to turn into<br />

a monster. So I asked him: “You’ve<br />

known me seven years now, have I ever<br />

turned into a monster?” His answer? “I<br />

don’t think so, but sometimes you look<br />

pretty scary.”<br />

Well…I asked.<br />

How best to handle this touchy subject<br />

of childhood fears and phobias?<br />

In my own childhood, the prevailing<br />

approach by many parents at that time<br />

was a no-nonsense one—there are no<br />

such thing as monsters. Period. Simple<br />

as that. It was as if a child’s fears were<br />

not be “indulged.” I was raised with<br />

this approach and can attest that it did<br />

nothing other than cause me to feel<br />

ashamed and somehow inadequate. Although<br />

on one level, I trusted the word<br />

of my parents (that they wouldn’t lie<br />

to me), but their logic simply could not<br />

quell my fears. I still took the basement<br />

steps two at a time and insisted<br />

on my bedroom door being left open<br />

with the hall light on. My fear of the<br />

dark was so innate and so irrational<br />

that it overruled all common sense until<br />

I was well into my teens.<br />

As a result, my approach with my<br />

own children was very different. Having<br />

been a victim of my own fears, I<br />

didn’t want to make my children feel<br />

bad about experiencing their own. So<br />

I listened, hugged and validated their<br />

concerns. I actually found it helpful<br />

to confess my own childhood fears<br />

to them as a way of illustrating that<br />

at some point, these anxieties which<br />

seem so overwhelming when we’re<br />

young, gradually lessen or fall away<br />

as we grow into adulthood. And yet, I<br />

also readily admitted to them that even<br />

in adulthood, I still have some fears I<br />

continue to grapple with.<br />

4 <strong>GRAND</strong> grandmag.ca

I am pleased to see books in the<br />

public library that address the topic<br />

of childhood fears. I’ve read several<br />

stories with my young grandson that<br />

illustrate the mastering of a particular<br />

phobia. While reading these stories, I<br />

am quick to point out the accompanying<br />

feeling of accomplishment and<br />

pride the child experiences by the<br />

end of the book. Many of these books<br />

employ a well-trusted behavioural<br />

therapy technique in which children<br />

are gradually exposed to their fears<br />

in a safe, secure environment. Take<br />

the fear of spiders, for instance, yet<br />

another phobia of mine! Reading<br />

books together about spiders and their<br />

importance in our ecosystem might<br />

be a way to start addressing this fear.<br />

Having a child look at illustrations and<br />

photos, even gently encouraging them<br />

to touch those photos, can help to desensitize<br />

their fear.<br />

Pointing out spiders in one’s outdoor<br />

environment and watching them<br />

build a web or collecting a spider in a<br />

bug box are some further ideas to help<br />

with desensitising. I am a firm believer<br />

that steps like this help make fears<br />

more manageable. Those fears may<br />

never be calmed, but at least we can<br />

develop coping skills that can serve us<br />

well later on in life.<br />

Susan Gnucci is a local<br />

author and a proud “nonna”<br />

to two young grandsons. She<br />

enjoys sharing her experiences<br />

as a grandparent.<br />

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<strong>Vol</strong>. <strong>VI</strong>, <strong>Ed</strong>. <strong>III</strong> 5

Grandparenting<br />

Summertime Is Grandparent Time<br />

Summertime often means more<br />

time for grandparents to spend<br />

with grandchildren. Sometimes<br />

that’s a vacation or cottage getaway.<br />

Sometimes it’s a childcare-in-the-city<br />

situation. Either way, it may be a time<br />

where grandparents get more day-to-day<br />

interaction with their grandkids who are<br />

not in school. With lots of activities and<br />

destinations to choose from, how does a<br />

grandparent decide what to do?<br />

You may want to think about activities,<br />

which, while being fun and novel, will<br />

also support academic learning. Some<br />

of these will be obvious, but some might<br />

have benefits you have not thought of.<br />

Take the dolls tea party, for example.<br />

Set the table for tea time with the dolls,<br />

stuffed animals and action figures—don’t<br />

forget about the beloved cars and trucks.<br />

Discuss patterns, distributing one napkin<br />

to each creature, anticipating the needs<br />

of others. Pouring out the “tea” and passing<br />

the cookies provides practice in turntaking<br />

and polite pleases and thank yous.<br />

If you want to go all out, how about<br />

baking the cookies? Choose a really simple<br />

recipe with few ingredients. But even<br />

a three-year-old can help to measure and<br />

pour and stir. Cooking is a great way to<br />

reinforce math concepts (measurements<br />

of volume and weights, setting timers,<br />

talking about temperatures).<br />

Baking is also an opportunity for practicing<br />

fine motor skills, pouring, cutting<br />

(butter, with a table knife, for example—<br />

nothing sharp!), blending butter into<br />

flour. It gives kids a chance to experience<br />

and talk about textures (powdery flour,<br />

greasy butter) which they don’t feel<br />

every day, as well as smells: cinnamon,<br />

lemon peel, cloves. Not to mention the<br />

way soft dough become crisp cookie—it’s<br />

not magic, it’s chemistry!<br />

Building with blocks provides lots<br />

of opportunities to practice fine motor<br />

coordination and engineering skills. Of<br />

course it all starts with you building a<br />

tower and your grandchild knocking it<br />

down. A great exercise in turn taking!<br />

A little later, set up a small construction<br />

and challenge your grandchild to copy<br />

it. Then ask them to set you a challenge.<br />

Create enclosures for toys animals and<br />

dinosaurs. Make a house for the dolls.<br />

Lots of opportunities for telling stories.<br />

With older kids (4 and up) grandparents<br />

can teach them card games. Start<br />

with sorting the cards into red and black,<br />

or suits, or numbers versus face cards.<br />

Progress to Memory where all the cards<br />

are laid out face down and each player<br />

turns over two at a time. The goal is to<br />

remember where the cards are and find<br />

matching pairs. Games like War and<br />

PishePasha great starting games that<br />

don’t require small kiddy-hands to hold<br />

fanned-out cards (that’s a difficult fine<br />

motor skill!). By the time kids are 6 or<br />

7, they can learn Crazy Eights or Gin<br />

Rummy. And I know eight-year-olds who<br />

play Bridge!<br />

Outdoor play is a great time to develop<br />

gross motor skills, like running, kicking<br />

and throwing.<br />

These skills take a long time to develop<br />

and kids need a lot of practice! Take the<br />

opportunity to discuss things we CAN<br />

kick and throw (balls in the field, stones<br />

into the water) and those we must not.<br />

There are lots of games you can create<br />

around throwing stones into the ocean<br />

or a lake: who can throw it farther (of<br />

course), who can hit that log, who can<br />

do the silliest throw, who can throw over<br />

their shoulder. But just meditatively tossing<br />

stones in the water can make space<br />

for conversation and connection.<br />

Time outdoors also promotes healthy<br />

eye development. Studies have shown<br />

that spending a couple of hours a day<br />

outdoors reduces the incidence of myopia<br />

(short-sightedness). It seems that the<br />

bright light of the outdoors, and the opportunity<br />

to focus on the far-away things<br />

give the eyes the stimulation they need.<br />

On Vancouver Island we are so lucky<br />

to have relatively easy access to the shore<br />

and the ocean.<br />

There are so many opportunities there<br />

for wildlife observation, exploring tide<br />

pools, building sand castles, collecting<br />

pebbles or driftwood. But remember that<br />

just being outdoors, with unstructured<br />

time is hugely beneficial for children—<br />

and everyone else. The fresh air, the sunshine<br />

(remember sunscreen, hats, and<br />

the hydrantion), and the freedom is what<br />

summer is all about!<br />

Eva Bild, MA, AdvCD(DONA), LCCE<br />

is a Childbirth and Lactation<br />

<strong>Ed</strong>ucator, and Birth Doula<br />

Trainer. She has been teaching<br />

and supporting childbearing<br />

families in Victoria since 1994.<br />

She become a grandmother this year!<br />

6 <strong>GRAND</strong> grandmag.ca

September<br />

2, 3 & 4<br />

2023<br />

Jammin’<br />

at the<br />

Fair!<br />

Celebrate 155 years of the Saanich Fair<br />

September 2, 3 and 4 at the Saanich Fair Grounds!<br />


saanichfair.ca<br />

IslandParent.ca<br />

Summer 2023 7

Gone are the days of rocking chairs and<br />

recliners. Today’s grandparents are more<br />

likely to be rock climbing or going for a run<br />

than they are to be rocking or reclining.<br />

<strong>Vol</strong>. <strong>VI</strong>, <strong>Ed</strong>. <strong>III</strong><br />

RAND<br />

grandmag.ca<br />

We’re an active and diverse group—an engaged,<br />

evolving and powerful force. We’re<br />

mentors, nurturers, keepers of secrets.<br />

We’re caregivers, child care providers,<br />

dessert-before-dinner defenders. We’re<br />

historians, spiritual guides and the holders<br />

of family stories.<br />

<strong>GRAND</strong> celebrates who you are as a grandparent<br />

and who you are as an individual.<br />

You love spending time with your grandchildren<br />

and you’re happy in your other<br />

roles: at work, in the community and on<br />

your own. <strong>GRAND</strong> acknowledges that you<br />

are not “one or the other”—an “either/or”<br />

version of yourself—you are many different<br />

things to many different people. And to<br />

yourself.<br />

Summertime Is<br />

Grandparent Time<br />

Helping Kids<br />

Face Their Fears<br />

Jim Schneider Publisher<br />

publisher@islandparent.ca<br />

Sue Fast <strong>Ed</strong>itor<br />

editor@islandparent.ca<br />

Kristine Wickheim Account Manager<br />

kristine@islandparent.ca<br />

RaeLeigh Buchanan Account Manager<br />

raeleigh@islandparent.ca<br />

<strong>GRAND</strong>, published by Island Parent Group Enterprises Ltd., is a digital<br />

publication that honours and supports grandparents by providing<br />

information on resources and businesses for families and a forum<br />

for the exchange of ideas and opinions. Views expressed are not<br />

necessarily those of the publisher. No material herein may be<br />

reproduced without the permission of the publisher.<br />

518 Caselton Place, Victoria, BC V8Z 7Y5<br />

Relearning<br />

History<br />

A Tour to Kiixin<br />

250-388-6905 grandmag.ca<br />

A proud member of<br />

BC<br />

With an Island perspective that speaks<br />

to an international readership, <strong>GRAND</strong> is<br />

the source for on-the-go grandparents of<br />

up-to-the-minute and thought-provoking<br />

information and ideas—on everything from<br />

having fun, staying fit and things to do to<br />

travel, leisure, health and technology. Think<br />

of <strong>GRAND</strong> as a trusted friend who happily<br />

shares those “senior moments” (in the<br />

best sense of the words!) and keeps you<br />

informed and connected to the issues and<br />

ideas that really matter. After reading an<br />

issue of <strong>GRAND</strong>, you should feel inspired,<br />

up-to-date and informed.<br />

We’re here for you: from helping you<br />

figure out where you fit in to tackling your<br />

most perplexing questions, sharing your<br />

greatest discoveries and celebrating your<br />

deepest joys.<br />

<strong>GRAND</strong> features articles on topics ranging<br />

from the importance of storytelling,<br />

cooking with your grandkids and community<br />

superheroes, to photographing your<br />

grandkids, gift-giving and grandparenting<br />

from afar. There are ideas and inspiration<br />

to help keep you in-the-know and connected,<br />

there’s a guide to investing in your<br />

grandchildren’s future and there’s tech<br />

support that will help you face your fears<br />

and embrace the cloud.<br />

<strong>GRAND</strong> is as diverse and engaged as you<br />

are. Together, we’re a powerful and positive<br />

force—in our grandchildren’s lives and<br />

in our communities.<br />

8 <strong>GRAND</strong> grandmag.ca

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