Coyote's Crazy Smart Science show is a show on APTN that encourages young people to explore the world of science through an Indigenous perspective.

This is me on set in my community, beautiful T'Sou-ke Nation. I filmed my role as Knowledge Holder for Coyote Science on APTN. I will be on the Solar episode in season two.

​When I was young I was a life guard and camp counsellor.  I wanted to be a nurse.  I have always enjoyed working with kids.  Growing up I lived with many different relatives and was constantly moving.  Most of the time it was not easy for me to get to school.  I did not have a feeling of belonging to the schools I attended until later.  In high school, I became connected in the classroom thanks to my art and writing teachers.  This experience created purpose for me and I then began to love school and wanted to become a teacher.  I have been so fortunate to have been teaching full time since 1999.  After teaching for many of these years I went back to the University of Victoria to get a Masters degree in Indigenous Language Revitalization.  My Master's project is this website.  One feature of this website that excites me is that I will be able to add more richness to it such as videos, writing and teaching resources as they are created.  Another project that I am grateful I was a part of, is a resource for teachers and educators to locate authentic Indigenous resources for K-7 classes in BC, created by First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC).  I've included the resource below.

File Name: PUB-LFP-K-7-Authentic-Resources-for-Web.pdf
File Size: 4.1 mb
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​I love teaching and creating curriculum about being T'Sou-ke.  Aboriginal activities in all four seasons is a major learning outcome in the K-3 BC curriculum.  The photo below is one sample that covers all major Coast Salish activities in the four seasons.  Each cloud and the sun list our main activities of each season.  In the pdf are the two documents needed to create this 45 minute activity with your students.  

File Name: 3026_001.pdf
File Size: 230 kb
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​Below is the list of K-5 Aboriginal Learning Outcomes of BC.

File Name: Aboriginal-Learning-Outcomes-K-5.pdf
File Size: 571 kb
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Below are Coast Salish descriptions of animals that I learned from my co-worker of thirteen years, respected Songhees Elder, Butch Dick:

Raven~ The raven is the cultural focus of the North West Coast People.  He/she symbolizes creation, knowledge and prestige.  He/she is easily identified by his long straight beak.  He/she is also a messenger. 

Eagle~ The eagle is the symbol of power.  The eagle bestows the hunting skills of penetrating eyesight and exceptional hearing.  The down of the eagle is a symbol of peace and friendship.  He/she is identified by his short curved beak.

Killer whale (orca)~ The killer whale (orca) is the supreme spirit of the ocean.  He/she symbolizes long life and he/she is identified by his/her large toothed mouth, long dorsal fin and blow hole.

Thunderbird~ The thunderbird is the chief of all guardian spirits.  He/she is the protector of all people.  The flapping of his/her wings causes thunder and lightening to flash from his eyes.  He/she resembles the eagle but he/she is distinguished by the plumage on his head.

Wolf~ The wolf is admired for his/her wisdom and courage.  The wolf assisted humans to become successful hunters.  He/she symbolizes family and togetherness.  He/she is identified by his/her short tail and short snout.  The wolf is also a keeper of power.

Bear~ The bear is the most powerful animal on the coast.  He/she symbolizes great power and influence.  He/she is also known for his/her human qualities.  The bear is identified by his/her short tail and short snout.

Hummingbird~ The hummingbird is a joyful messenger and healer.  When he/she appears in a time of sorrow and pain, healing will soon follow.  He/she is identified by his/her long beak, large head and small body.  The hummingbird is the symbol of love.

Owl~ The owl is associated with wisdom and the world beyond.  He/she can foresee the future.  The owl symbolized the wisdom gained through innocence.  He/she is identified by his/her large eyes and short hooked beck.

Frog~ The frog symbolizes wealth, stability and communication.  His/her croaking is believed to bring good fortune.  He/she is identified by his/her large toothless mouth.  The frog is the bringer of spring.

Loon~ The loon is the solitary bird of the wilderness.  He/she granted fishing skills to humans.  He/she symbolizes serenity and is identified by a banded neck.

Salmon~ The salmon is a vital food source of the North West Coast People.  The salmon is the giver of life.  He/she symbolizes fertility and good luck.  The salmon is identifies by a short dorsal fin.

Moon~ The moon is the guardian and protector of the earth.  The moon's spirit watches over us and can change our moods.  The moon is the grandmother of the earth.

Sun~ The sun provides the earth with healing energy, life and beauty.  The sun was thrown into the sky by the mighty raven and its' long rays were thought to be a means of travel between earth and sky.  The sun is the grandfather of the earth. 

​Below is a sample of Picture Word Inductive Model (PWIM), a teaching technique in which the correct words are used to label pictures.  In this picture my family is asking permission to come ashore as part of our protocol in the 2008 Indigenous Games and Tribal Canoe Journeys.  One advantage of using PWIM to label Coast Salish pictures is that the teacher can double label the items both in English and T'Sou-ke.

​Below is a picture of me in the Indigenous classroom at UVic showing how we raise our hands to say thank you and to show respect.

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About Trena


Trena is a Coast Salish girl from T'Sou-ke Nation. She loves to paddle, drum, dance, enjoy seafood and go on adventures. Come have fun with Trena while she shares her cultural teachings and learns the T'Sou-ke language.