Taylor Reidlinger, Jordan MacDonald and Morgan Sage presented the work they have performed over the past eight months with the North Coast Innovation Lab. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Taylor Reidlinger, Jordan MacDonald and Morgan Sage presented the work they have performed over the past eight months with the North Coast Innovation Lab. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Master students in Prince Rupert share their findings for a more sustainable city

Students with Ecotrust Canada’s North Coast Innovation Lab showcase their work at Lester Centre

Master students are graduating from Prince Rupert and sharing their findings on achieving a more sustainable city with the community.

Students taking part in Ecotrust Canada’s North Coast Innovation Lab projects spent the past eight months working with local organizations on a variety of initiatives meant to bolster food sustainability and employment practices.

With their program coming to an end next week, the students took the chance to present their achievements to the community at the Lester Centre on Thursday night.

Attendees gathered in the Lester Centre lobby to hear the presentations. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Taylor Reidlinger from Royal Roads University worked as a project coordinator in partnership with Coastal Shellfish in the aquaculture sector. Her work focused on restorative ocean farming, namely that involving shellfish and kelp. The goal was to promote food security and environmental stewardship, and highlight the benefit of adding these foods to Prince Rupert’s menu.

“They’re all really sustainable food sources that are underutilized in popular culture and society,” Reidlinger explained. “Shellfish are an extremely low impact protein source. I think food literacy – people knowing how to cook them, make them delicious and use them in a variety of ways – will really allow us to incorporate these more into diets.”

Taylor Reidlinger explains her work in partnership with Coastal Shellfish to develop and promote kelp, shellfish and other invertebrates as alternative food choices. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

READ MORE: Masters students envision a more resilient Prince Rupert

Reidlinger says Prince Rupert is the perfect location to advance these dietary choices. “I’ve been super impressed with the amount of knowledge that’s already held in the community,” she said regarding the town’s relationship with these foods. “Not only through the technical development of aquaculture here, but also the local knowledge. I think that’s held here in Prince Rupert in a unique way compared to any other community that I’ve researched in Canada.”

Morgan Sage, a master student in geography from Queen’s University, also performed her work in the sustainable food sector. Sage worked with the Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society at their Rupert Lawn and Garden Centre in order to address what is a lack of locally grown food opportunities in town.

Taking over one of the centre’s greenhouses, Sage grew fresh produce which was then distributed to members of the Nisga’a Society. The program proved to be very popular, routinely overflowing the fridges at the Nisga’a Hall.

Morgan Sage talks about her work growing produce with the Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

READ MORE: Growing veggies for Nisga’a members in Prince Rupert

Sage spoke about how the local community was a major help in guiding her work. “When I first came here building connections definitely helped me understand Prince Rupert, and helped me understand what’s going on locally for food – what can and can’t grow here,” Sage said.

“Later on it really changed the way I perceived my own project by having volunteers come down and share information about food and what they cook and food sharing. They were so great because they would share information about their culture and Prince Rupert and living in Prince Rupert.”

Jordan MacDonald from the University of Guelph worked as a project coordinator for the Hecate Strait Employment Development Society. His project’s emphasis was to create “social enterprise”, where businesses work not only to make money, but also to promote positive social purpose in a community.

To do this, Hecate Strait went with the idea of a consignment based store where local artisans could sell their works. Dubbed the Trading Coast Store, the pop-up shop operated on four days during the summer featuring wares from 13 artists.

Jordan MacDonald worked with the Hecate Strait Employment Development Society to operate the Trading Coast pop-up store. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

READ MORE: “More than just a hello”: Pilot project hoping to better train up-and-coming business owners

MacDonald explained some of the advantages with this style of store. “There was a lot of excitement about being able to offer the products without actually having to be there,” he explained.

“For a lot of individuals it can be really hard for them to take part in flea markets because they have to be there for a long period of time, and they don’t always make the sales that would encourage them to continue being there for so long,” MacDonald said. “Being able to work with us and entrust us with the task of selling it for them was something that they really enjoyed because it freed them up to go do other artistic adventures, and it didn’t tie them down to that place.”

In addition to offering a space for artists to sell their products, the store also emphasized the idea of creating jobs for people to run the space.

Ecotrust will be bringing a third cohort of master students to Prince Rupert in the new year.

Alex Kurial | Journalist
Alex Kurial 
Send Alex email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Royal Roads University

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rotary Club of Prince Rupert members Kelly Sawchuck and Adrienne Johnston prepare Christmas trees on Dec. 4 in Prince Rupert for the annual sale. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
300 Christmas trees arrive in Prince Rupert

Rotary Club Christmas tree sales are now on, with a high demand for trees during COVID-19

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where one employee is still currently isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was first declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
54 positive COVID-19 cases associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

There’s been a two-person increase in positive cases since Tuesday (Dec. 1)

K-J Millar/The Northern View
8 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the Northern Health Authority

Since Nov. 27, there have been 191 new cases reported in NHA

Five to six years of log accumulation at Diana Lake Provincial Park is currently being cleaned up by a District of Port Edward and Parks BC partnership. (Photo: Supplied by District of Port Edward)
Diana Lake Provincial Park clean up underway

Port Edward District spearheaded the park clean up securing $80,000 in funds from Ridley Terminal

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty respirators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan releases his election platform, Vancouver, Oct. 6, 2020, featuring COVID-19 relief payments promised for most households. (B.C. NDP photo)
Next $1.5 billion in B.C. COVID-19 cash ‘prudent,’ Horgan says

New round of payments for household incomes up to $175,000

Most Read