The Great Bear Rainforest Comes to BC Classrooms

A humpback whale dives deep into the waters of Gitga’at territory. Photo by Brodie Guy.

It would be no small feat to bring a group of school-age children to one of the most remote regions on the planet. But today, thanks to a new educational website, students can learn about the people, plants, and animals of Great Bear Rainforest from the comfort of their classrooms.

The Great Bear Rainforest Education & Awareness website is a place where students, their teachers, and the public can explore the rich human cultures and biological diversity of the region and discover some of the marine and land-based stewardship efforts of First Nations whose territories span the 6.4 million hectares along the coast of British Columbia.

“This new resource will help B.C. students learn about a global treasure right in their own backyard,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “We are all stewards with a responsibility to protect our forests and learning about that responsibility in the classroom is key.”

The website provides activity plans, backgrounders, and teacher guides—free of charge—for grades seven to nine. The backgrounders focus on the culture, history, and practices of some of the Nations of the region.

A multi-media section gathers video and photography from a wide range of sources, to provide further ways of interacting with the region from afar. Another section explores ecosystem-based management, community development, and forest and marine management.

The website was created through the Great Bear Rainforest Education and Awareness Trust, a $1 million fund that was established in 2016 to “foster a deeper public recognition and appreciation of the unique nature of the Great Bear Rainforest and how the Government of B.C., First Nations, industry and environmental organizations developed a world class and innovative approach to manage both the natural environment and human activities.”