A young Ahousaht University student recently returned from a trip to South Korea, where he saw similarities between their culture and his, and he saw ways in which improvements can be made at home in terms of food security.
Daral ƛahayašištuuł Campbell, age 22, said he was originally invited to South Korea in 2020 as part of a group representing Ahousaht’s Chah chum hii yup tiic mis, also known as the Holistic Centre. Ahousaht’s new wellness centre is nearing completion on the site of a former residential school in the village.
From his understanding, Campbell said that Hangdong Global University, a South Korean Christian University, has some form of agreement with Ahousaht where they will provide expertise at Ahousaht’s new Wellness Center when it opens.
“I was invited to go in 2020, before pandemic hit, but it was delayed for 2 years,” Campbell shared. A small Ahousaht group including Julia Atleo, Manager of Chah chum hii yup tiic mis and Ahousaht youth including Peter Charlie, Rhianna Atleo and Campbell himself were joined by Pastor Sungduek Hong and Joon Choe.
Pastor Hong is the president of Love Corps Mission Society, a Christian society whose vision is ‘to witness God healing the broken hearted and raising up leaders among the First Nations people of British Columbia. He and Joon Choe traveled with the Ahousaht delegation, acting as guides and translators.
The Ahousaht group arrived in South Korea on April 24 with the Love Corps missionaries and stayed for three days, according to Campbell. “We went to Pohang to go to the Handong Global University,” said Campbell.
“The first half of the trip was mostly meetings,” Campbell said, adding they spent time at the Handong Global University foreign studies department. “This was in relation to the wellness centre that they’re building in Ahousaht, said Campbell. He said there is an MOU with the University and the Wellness Centre. “They’re planning to have volunteers trained in South Korea to help with health and wellness work,” he added.
Ha-Shilth-Sa reached out to Chah chum Hi-yup for details but could not reach the manager by press time.
Campbell, who is studying history at the University of Victoria as he works on his Bachelor of Education degree, said he had an opportunity to speak with a Korean linguistic class about Ahousaht dialect of Nuu-chah-nulth. “They were able to pick up the alphabet quickly and able to pronounce words very well,” he said.
“One of the things that I found pretty interesting are the similarities between Ahousaht and Korea is that we are both very hospitable,” said Campbell. The two sides exchanged cultural activities. “They had a hotel for us and we were kept well fed,” he said, adding that they were eating largely Korean food like Korean barbecue and kim-chee.
Following activities at the University, the group went to Suu Wan, where they met missionaries-in-training that will come to Ahousaht later in summer.
“We toured a smart farm, like a hydroponics farm,” said Campbell. There, he saw how food is being grown with ‘fish poop’ as fertilizer. “They have freshwater fish in tanks that they breed,” said Campbell, the wastes from that are used to fertilize crops. “This is something we could do in Ahousaht,” said Campbell.
The trip ended with a tour of a Korean castle and a war memorial. “The war memorial was very interesting,” said Campbell. “In history class you learn about it, but seeing it, you get better understanding of the North and South Korean divide. The last thing you see is a picture, people displaced by the war…you see a destroyed city and countryside homes,” Campbell shared.
He was reminded that the Korean war hasn’t ended, it can happen again and resume at any time, the museum guide told the group.
“I’d like to go back but don’t know when that can happen,” said Campbell. He is studying at the University of Victoria to be a history teacher.