Annie Smith

Campbell River
Forest Buds Program
nature educator

It amazes me that I have two adult sons with their own lives. I was blessed to raise them in Tahsis and Ucluelet, where being outdoors was the natural way to be. I grew up in Burnaby when it still had small farms and wetlands and my world was filled with forts and frogs, skunk cabbage and cedars. To be able to be outdoors with young children is fun and inspiring. I appreciate how very fortunate we are to be able to take young children into the forest and to the ocean. This is where we can learn both the wonder and the power of Nature and how we, as human beings, need to live responsibly in relationship with our world and with each other.

My lifelong learning includes university, directing community arts and drama projects, teaching, and working in child protection in First Nations community. It is the training I received through the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and through my time with Indigenous friends and mentors that has had the greatest impact in how I see and move in the world. My first Indigenous teacher was at summer camp when I was 10. He showed us how to pay attention to what was around us. For our children to be able to listen to and tell Nature’s stories is an awesome gift.