The Redfish School of Change is a fusion of academic and experiential learning that runs each summer. Originally held in Slocan Valley of British Columbia, Redfish students now kayak, cycle, and hike through coastal communities on the Salish Sea in British Columbia and Washington State. The program grew out of a shared passion for social and environmental change and experiential education as well as a strong belief in the capacity of young people to lead. A partnership between the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria, Huxley College of the Environment and the Center for Canadian-American Studies at Western Washington University, and GreenLearning Canada formed to make this unique program possible.
Redfish is designed for people who want to lead the way in creating ecological sustainability and social equity in their communities. Living and learning with fifteen to seventeen other participants, two to three instructors, and a Redfish alumni mentor, each student develops the capacity and confidence to lead their community on the issues that matter most to them. Throughout the field school and across the Salish Sea, students visit innovative sites and engage with experts in the field of environment and social justice. Students learn critical skills for creating positive change, putting them into practice during and after the program. Each student enters the program with a proposed Community Action Project (CAP) that they develop during the course of their unique field experience, and then work to implement after the program is over.
Instructors from Western Washington University include Nick Stanger, co-Director for Redfish and assistant professor of environmental education at Huxley College of the Environment, and Joe Loviska, the Redfish Operations and Field Director and graduate of the Masters of Education in Environmental Education program at Western and the North Cascades Institute.