PEPAḴIYE Ashley Cooper
Program Director
(ȽÁU,WELNEW Tribal School)

ash bio pic

PEPAḴIYE is not available for consultation, collaboration, projects, plant walks, or any work in general.

PEPAḴIYE Ashley Cooper, is from W̱JOȽEȽP and Nuu Chah Nulth. She has been studying the SENĆOŦEN language in her community.

PEPAḴIYE graduated W̱,SENĆOŦEN,IST in 2016 with a diploma in Indigenous Language Revitalization through The University of Victoria. PEPAḴIYE has been learning about plants, medicines, and plant technologies in W̱SÁNEĆ from local community knowledge keepers and elders. PEPAḴIYE is the Programs Director for the PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ Native Plant Nursery and Garden Program at the ȽÁWELṈEW̱ Tribal School and W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Secondary School. She is a team member of ȾIḴEL Living Lab and on the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council Environment Committee.

Judith Lyn Arney
Ecosystems Director


Judith is an ethnoecologist of British ancestry raised here in W̱SÁNEĆ territory. In addition to her experience working in the food sovereignty movement and forestry sector in British Columbia, she has also worked internationally on the restoration of traditional food ecosystems in Japan, Italy, and Mexico. Judith founded the PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ program in 2011 during her graduate work with York University. Her passion for restoring ecosystems supports her work at PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ nurturing connection to the natural world for children and youth! Currently, Judith leads on the PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ restoration projects and native plant nursery operations, teaches in the programs and works with project partners to encourage the restoration of indigenous ecosystems in W̱SÁNEĆ territory and beyond.

XEṮXÁṮEN Earl Claxton Jr


Earl is a respected SȾÁUTW̱ elder, plant knowledge keeper and community historian. He was an integral team member in the precedent-setting Claxton vs Saanichton Marina (1987) case which protected Saanichton Bay from development, ensuring a future for the fishery of the W̱SÁNEĆ people. Earl came to his career in plants after years in recovery following a double aneurysm; his intention was to learn a skill that would be useful to his community. Earl has been working at PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ since its earliest days, contributing his plant knowledge, storytelling, and plant stewardship skills to the school program and maintaining the gardens throughout the year. Earl also does storytelling and cultural teachings - and of course his famous salmon and clam bakes! - for many schools and organizations in the region, sharing his invaluable knowledge as well as his personal message of kindness and compassion.

Sarah Jim
Stewardship Coordinator


Sarah Jim is an emerging artist of Coast Salish, Mexican, and Russian-Jewish, and is a proud member of the W̱SÁNEĆ nation from the Tseycum village. She has received a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Victoria and works with PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ as an emerging land steward. Working on the land and learning from community has resulted in deep insights into how language, culture, traditional knowledge, and art are all intimately connected to the land, sea, and sky. Learning about the direct connection between culture and place has helped empower Sarah as a W̱SÁNEĆ woman and a Coast Salish artist. Creating place-based artwork of her homelands and waters allows her to explore the importance of environmental restoration, native plant food systems, and coastal medicines in relation to the ecosystem and W̱SÁNEĆ culture.

Tracey Murphy
Program Coordinator
(W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Secondary School)


Tracey was born on the island of Tiohti:áke (Montreal), of Irish and French settlers, and has lived on WSÁNEĆ́ territory with her daughter Joey for the past sixteen years. Tracey began with PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ as a volunteer doing restoration work to reflect on her role as a settler, learn more about the webs of relationality that make up Coast Salish ecosystems and take actions that mirror her gratitude for living on this territory. As an educator and PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria, Tracey is passionate about the ability of youth to create an equitable and sustainable future, and so values how outdoor learning experiences connect youth to their identity and land. In her role with PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱, Tracey’s intention is to respectfully collaborate with WSÁNEĆ́ knowledge keepers on educational programs and curriculum.

Kyle Clarke
Stewardship Instructor

Kyle Clark

Kyle is of Ukrainian, Irish, and Métis ancestry who grew up on the W̱SÁNEĆ territory. Recently, Kyle graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Studies. He is excited about utilizing his skills and knowledge of land stewardship to promote ecosystem restoration, protection, and education as a way to heal the places that shaped his adoration for the natural world. He has designed an Indigenous Foodplant garden in Sylix territory (Okanagan) that promotes food sovereignty and reintroduces culturally significant food plants to communities. Kyle has run outdoor elementary programs for two years and focuses his work around developing deep relationships with the students. He hopes that his knowledge and passion for nature inspires the students at the PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ Native Plant Nursery and Garden to generate a deeper connection to their land and culture.

Hannah Glass
Restoration Crew


Hannah is of Cree, Métis, and Scottish ancestry. Hannah was born and raised in the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ territory. Growing up around the beauty of S¸ELE₭TEȽ (Goldstream River), a deep appreciation and respect for the natural world was fostered and encouraged. Hannah is passionate about environmental restoration and has worked for the last two years removing invasive plants from native ecosystems. She is currently in her third year of Indigenous Studies at the University of Victoria. Hannah is grateful to work with PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ and be a part of the healing work happening at SṈIDȻEȽ (Tod Inlet).

Wendy Jim
Accounting & Admin


Wendy Jim was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area and is of Russian, Jewish and English ancestry. She has resided in the Tseycum Village for over 30 years and is a proud mother of Sarah Jim, Rebecca Jim, Stephanie Jim and Jacqueline Jim. Raising her children in their W̱SÁNEĆ culture with her husband David Jim was a very important decision in relocating to Canada. Wendy has a background in banking and finance for over 40 years with certificates from Camosun College, too. Wendy hopes to bring this knowledge to do her part in making PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ Foundation's vision come alive and succeed. Sarah Jim, her youngest daughter, has been a big inspiration to her for learning more about environmental restoration and doing her part to help the program thrive.

Stacie Thiessen
Website Coordinator


Stacie is a recent graduate from the University of Victoria with a B.A in Visual Arts & Computer Science. She is grateful to work with PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ as it allows her to combine her skills in a unique way, to be involved in plant restoration, and to connect with people who are doing amazing work. Stacie grew up in the Cowichan Valley, and now lives in W̱SÁNEĆ territory.