About the School Program
The Salish Weave Box Sets are series of commissioned limited edition silkscreen prints (or serigraphs) created by Coast Salish artists. Salish Weave views the prints of Box Sets I, II, III and IV as its 'working collection’ in education: prints being brought to the classrooms and used as teaching resources in all subjects to educate children of all grade levels.
The Salish Weave school program entails:
donating the prints to school districts located in traditional Coast Salish territory,
developing sample lessons plans, teaching aids and resources to integrate Salish art into the curriculum,
supporting educators who wish to bring these resources to the classrooms to broaden and cultivate the understanding of Coast Salish art and culture among K-12 learners.
To implement its school program, Salish Weave first partnered with educators from the Cowichan Valley School District 79. We are grateful to the pilot project team members and their colleagues for their enthusiasm and cooperation. Within the course of the pilot project, mentors guided the teachers in a positive and supportive way. They were able to share and collaborate with fellow staff members, to experiment with the resources in the classrooms, and to discuss and debate constructively with Aboriginal Education and Learning Commons staff. The professionalism of all at the Cowichan Valley School District ensured the initial successes of the pilot project. We thank all of them for being a part of this learning journey.
Salish Weave Box Sets
The schools and school districts that have been gifted the Salish Weave Box Set I (9 prints) and Box Set I and II (18 prints) are listed below:
Box Set I was donated to the following schools:
- Burnaby School District 41 - École Sperling Elementary School
- Burnaby School District 41 - Nelson Elementary School
- Victoria School District 61 - Esquimalt High School
Box Set I and II were donated to:
- Coquitlam School District 43
Box Sets I, II and III were donated to the following school districts:
- Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie britannique - École au Coeur-de-l'île, Comox
- Comox Valley School District 71
- Cowichan Valley School District 79
- Gulf Islands School District 64
- Nanaimo - Ladysmith School District 68
- Qualicum School District 69
- Saanich School District 63
- Sooke School District 62
- Victoria School District 61
We recommend that you contact your district Resource Centre or Aboriginal Education department to check the availability of these prints, to see how you can integrate them into your curriculum and bring them to your classrooms. Also take the opportunity to ask them about complementary resources.
Note that the donation of Box Set III prints will be made in 2025. However, they can viewed online.
Pilot Project: Cowichan Valley School District 79 (2017 to today)
Inspired by the gift of contemporary Coast Salish prints and by the introduction of the new curriculum in British Columbia, three teachers from the Cowichan Valley School District joined together in 2017 to collaborate and plan how to integrate more Indigenous perspectives into their practice. Thus a pilot project and a learning team were born!
With the assistance of the District Learning Commons (DLC), the learning team created a series of teaching notes that compile useful information about the prints of Box Sets I and II. To give cultural and historical context to the teachers and students, these teaching notes include an introduction to Salish Weave, the title, date and image of the print, the accompanying artist or curatorial statement, and the artist's photograph and biography.
View the Salish Weave Art Print Teaching Notes on the District Learning Commons website.
Originally with teaching assignments spanning grades K-12, Alison Donnelly, Becky Greenhow, and Rebecca Scheer began using the Salish prints in each of their Cowichan Valley schools. Whether in art, science, language arts, social studies, or land-based education, students are learning about traditional Salish symbols, motifs, and stories as Indigenous content is being integrated into their daily lessons. In partnership with Salish Weave and under the guidance of Aboriginal Education Principal, Denise Augustine, these teachers have designed and successfully implemented a variety of lessons, using real art in the classroom to make cross-curricular connections at all grade levels.
Since its onset in 2017, the project has grown to include more Cowichan district members, including Angella Campbell (Gr. 3/4), Kayla Mousseau (K), and District Early Learning Coordinator, Brenda Lee. Furthermore, colleagues are beginning to share their work and collaborate between districts. Below you will find sample lesson plans and activities from Cowichan, Comox, and Sooke.
View their draft lesson plans below.
- TEACHING NOTES for Salish Weave Box Set Prints (Reference: All Grades)
- Themes Within Salish Weave Box Sets 1 & 2 (Reference: All Grades)
- Coast Salish Design Elements, Number Sense, and Bear (Grade K-2)
- Coast Salish Design Elements and Frog (Grade K-2)
- Analog Coding with Thunderbird and Killerwhale (Grade K-3)
- How Many? Numeracy, Vocabulary, and Salmon (Grade K-4)
- Introduction to Coast Salish Design Elements and Visual Thinking Strategies (Grade 3/4)
- The Story of Thunderbird and Killerwhale (Grade 3/4)
- REINTERPRETATION Project: Perspectives on Coast Salish Art (Grade 3/4)
- Spindle Whorl Cutouts (Grade 5/6)
- Identity/Ancestry Mandala Project (Grade 9-12)
- Identity-Based Multi-Media Project (Grade 10-12)
Professional Development Days and Cowichan Learning Showcase
At Cowichan’s Professional Development Day in May 2017, the pilot project team shared its collective learning with district colleagues. Through a comprehensive and interactive display, the teachers illustrated how to integrate Coast Salish art into any and all facets of the curriculum. Each team member arranged samples of her lesson plans and of student learning alongside the associated Box Set prints. Information about the District Learning Commons catalogue and the Art Print Teaching Notes, as well as a slideshow presentation of additional Coast Salish resources, were also available for perusal. The team also shared their work at the District Learning Team Showcase later the same month.
The following years provided several more opportunities to offer presentations and workshops to educators and assistants across Lower Vancouver Island at District Development Days in SD62 Sooke, SD79 Cowichan, SD71 Comox Valley, and SD63 Saanich. As the project continues into 2020 and beyond, the team will post more lesson ideas and activities as they are shared by enthusiastic colleagues. Presentations were also made to education students at the June Summer Institute in Indigenous Education of the University of Victoria. In 2020, UVIc's Department of Indigenous Education will also offer a Summer Institute in Indifenous Education in July for in-service teachers.
Since 2004, Salish Weave has commissioned limited edition silkscreen prints (or serigraphs) from seven Coast Salish artists. The objective has been to support the artists who are reviving the traditional Salish art style. The dimension of the prints is 22-inch square and each edition is comprised of fifty prints.
In 2008, inspired by the signature piece of the collection, Susan Point’s Salish Weave - a panel of nine carved yellow and red cedar pieces ‘woven’ together – we decided to assemble a print from the first nine editions into a box set, and called it Box Set I. By the fall of 2010, nine other commissions of prints had been completed and assembled as Box Set II.
Four years later, an elementary school teacher on Vancouver Island told a friend of Salish Weave of his longing to bring ‘real’ art to the classroom. This was the spark that ignited the Salish Weave School Program: we would donate box sets of prints to school districts located in traditional Coast Salish territory.
Over two years, we donated prints to seven school districts - five are located on Vancouver Island and two in the Greater Vancouver Area – as well as to the BC French School Authority (Conseil Scolaire Francophone (CSF) de la Colombie Britannique). We view these prints as ‘the working collection’: prints being brought to the classrooms and used as teaching resources in all subjects to educate children of all grade levels.
The introduction of the new elementary curriculum renewed our interest and motivation to find out if the concept of the ‘working’ prints was realistic and achievable. To do so, we launched a pilot project at the Cowichan Valley School District 79, the objective of which is two-fold: to build a collection of lessons plans, teaching aids and resources to support the use of the prints in the classroom, and to seek opportunities (such as professional development days) to encourage teachers to integrate the prints into all subjects of the curriculum.
Due to the positive results of the pilot project and associated feedback from the teachers, we intend to resume the donation of prints of the Salish Weave Box Sets to school districts, including those of Box Set III in the fall of 2018. Meanwhile, we invite teachers and educators to familiarize themselves with the Box Sets prints and the documentation provided, to explore the teaching resources within the Salish Weave website, and mostly to integrate the Salish prints into their curricula and to put them to work in their classrooms.