Huu-ay-aht Cultural Leader

Qiic Qiica (Keats)

Bio

Qiic Qiica (Keats) is the primary cultural ambassador and storyteller for the Huu-ay-aht First Nation. He is a seasoned guide at the Huu-ay-aht ancient village and fortress National Historic Site of Kiixin, leading visiting groups through old-growth rainforest, educating them about the Huu-ay-aht’s knowledge and history, as well as Indigenous culture in the region throughout their hike. He’s also a regular visitor and guide at Outer Shores Lodge.

Keats has been given five previous names. His first given Huu-ay-aht name was “Ootsuu-a” named after the location where Outer Shores Lodge is now situated. In his free time Keats loves to walk in the forests around Bamfield with his two dogs. He also loves good food!

More Team Members

Scott Wallace

Co-owner / Operator

Scott is a lifelong biologist most happy when wearing gumboots and being with people in the outdoors. As owner-operator of Outer Shores Lodge in partnership with Russell Markel, he brings forward this enthusiasm and passion with guests. Before pivoting to Outer Shores Lodge, Scott worked as a marine ecologist at the David Suzuki Foundation for 15 years in the capacity of Senior Research Scientist. He is an educator, author, activist, naturalist, and fisheries researcher whose career has focused on marine conservation. Scott holds a PhD from the University of British Columbia and has taught several university and college level courses on the marine and coastal ecology of British Columbia. Scott currently teaches courses with North Island College’s Adventure Guiding program and UBC’s Haida Gwaii Institute.

 

Russell Markel

Co-owner / Operator

Russell has spent his life and career as a marine ecologist and mariner studying, exploring, and sailing the BC coast. Founding Outer Shores has been the realization of his ambition to bring together his experience, education, and passions to create an organization that fosters education, awareness, and stewardship. During his PhD in the Department of Zoology at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability (also at UBC), Russell focused his research in three general areas: (1) the effects of over-fishing and over-hunting top predators on coastal ecosystems and human communities; (2) relationships between changing ocean climate and marine fish population dynamics; and (3) the design and effectiveness of marine protected areas.

 

Jeanne Rankin - Chef at Outer Shores Lodge

Jeanne Rankin

Head Chef

Jeanne grew up in a large family in Winnipeg, Manitoba and from an early age was in the kitchen helping prepare meals. She trained in England with the legendary Roux brothers in Michelin 3-star establishments. After three years, with a solid foundation of Modern French cooking, she returned to Canada. Jeanne cooked in a big hotel scene in Vancouver,  then the Napa Valley to embrace the farm to table movement, and learn more about the relationship between wine and food. She and her husband next opened their own restaurants in Belfast, Northern Ireland; the first Michelin restaurant in Northern Ireland within two years of opening.  She spent 26 years there, owning and operating it and other restaurants, a chain of cafes and a bakery. She returned to Canada in 2015 and completed a Diploma in Holistic Nutrition in Victoria. She loves West Coast living with its close relationship to the outdoors.  

 

Erika Airton

Chef

Erika's road to the culinary world has been winding indeed. Born on the other side of the world, in South Africa, she came to Canada as a teenager. She had a number of stops and starts on the path to her career as a chef, venturing through the realms of biology, law, and business.  The culinary spark was finally lit for her in 2018 It happened while she was reading Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential on a Greyhound bus travelling from Los Angeles, California to Tijuana, Mexico. She soon dove into the world of gastronomy, cutting her culinary teeth in an industrial kitchen as well as a high end country club kitchen, all while attending culinary school at VCC and at Northwest Culinary Academy. Living in the Lower Mainland for years, like many of us, she became drawn to British Columbia's coastal rainforests and seashores, and is thus excited to join Outer Shores in its beautiful surroundings, offering up her culinary delights to our guests throughout the season.

Qiic Qiica (Keats)

Huu-ay-aht Cultural Leader

Qiic Qiica (Keats) is the primary cultural ambassador and storyteller for the Huu-ay-aht First Nation. He is a seasoned guide at the Huu-ay-aht ancient village and fortress National Historic Site of Kiixin, leading visiting groups through old-growth rainforest, educating them about the Huu-ay-aht’s knowledge and history, as well as Indigenous culture in the region throughout their hike. He’s also a regular visitor and guide at Outer Shores Lodge.

Keats has been given five previous names. His first given Huu-ay-aht name was “Ootsuu-a” named after the location where Outer Shores Lodge is now situated. In his free time Keats loves to walk in the forests around Bamfield with his two dogs. He also loves good food!

Aneri Garg

Marine Ecologist & Yoga Instructor

Aneri Garg is a marine ecologist, artist, and ocean justice advocate residing in the territory of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations on Vancouver Island's West coast, known colonially as Bamfield, BC. At Outer Shores Lodge, Aneri offers a diverse range of experiences to enrich your stay. For Aneri, studying the ocean is just as much an interest in the biology itself, but also the creative solutions people are working on to address the multiple threats facing our non-human kin in the ocean. Through this work she is interested in centering the rights of the people most impacted through conservation processes, and in creating equitable ocean work spaces for the benefit of both natural and social ecosystems. She came to Bamfield to explore climate-ocean storytelling, and has stayed to explore other opportunities for coastal community-building.

Zach Vanasse

Marketing and Communications Manager

Zach began his career in travel as a writer & editor for a travel magazine and spent the better part of the past decade working for a travel and tourism consultancy in Toronto. Throughout his career he has also worked to connect travel organizations with sustainability leaders from across the globe and has supported and developed sustainability programs and initiatives for a number of international travel companies. This work has included advocating to bring an end to the exploitation of elephants for tourism; efforts to ban the breeding, display, and trade in cetaceans for entertainment in Canada; and helping to develop a not-for-profit, artisan-run Indigenous arts program that works to sustain Indigenous craft while providing cross-cultural exchanges. Zach has been working in partnership with Outer Shores since 2014 and officially joined the team in 2022.

 

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