10,000 Gifts – Project & Documentary Film


Because of a $20,000 Grant from StoryHive, we have an amazing opportunity to tell the story of our small school and its impact on the world. We hope you will join us !

On the westcoast of British Columbia on the warmland of Vancouver Island in the town of Mill Bay

situated on the traditional, unceded territory of the Hulq’umi’num’ speaking People,

is a small, public school that has been rewriting the traditional grammar of schooling since 2018.

The children greet each day with an acknowledgement that this land in this place has been

carefullytended to for over 10,000 years by the Hulq’umi’num’ speaking People.

10,000 is a very big number though; how do we even begin to wrap our minds around it ?


We have taken up a project to assist us in this emerging challenge: collect 10,000 small gifts to be curated and strung

where we can see it everyday. Q’shintul/Mill Bay Nature School is hoping to collect a small gift from every person who

has a relationship with us – who has been impacted by our vision, our community, our work, our play, our wonderings –

such as teacher candidates, professors, community members, visiting guests, digital acquaintances, family members,



For this project, ‘a gift’ can be any object which can fit in your hand and has a small hole for hanging – such as a small

paddle, a shell, a stone, etc.  What started as a search for 10,000 is developing into a much bigger project. So far these

small. gifts represent four things: the years that the Hulq’umi’num’ speaking People have lived on this land; the lives

lost at Residential Schools; the community that the school has built encircling the children; and how much of an impact

one small school can have on the world.


Thanks to a Telus Storyhive grant and a partnership with Tousilum (Elder), Arianna Augustine (film maker), and Kim

Ondrik (head learner), we are making a documentary film about the process of collecting 10,000 small gifts, and the

stories of impact which are emerging from Q’shintul/Mill Bay Nature School. We are dreaming of gathering 10,000 gifts

and 10,000 stories. Can you help us ?


Join us on Friday, June 24 from 4:30-7:00 pm

for a Community Gathering to LAUNCH this project

Drop off your small gift/reflection card, experience Hulq’umi’num’ culture,

play on our beautiful outdoor campus, enjoy something to eat,

and learn more about Q’shintul/Mill Bay Nature School


bring/send/mail your small gift/reflection card anytime to our school


We are so grateful for any contributions to our project !