Educational Programs

PLEASE NOTE: ON-SITE EDUCATIONAL VISITS ARE CURRENTLY SUSPENDED DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Our educational programming is focused around the artifacts and household of the O’Reilly family, who lived at Point Ellice House in Victoria, British Columbia for 108 years.

The O’Reilly family, longtime residents of Point Ellice House, had strong ties to the British Empire and played a prominent role in the colonial settlement of the province and the upper-class social scene of early Victoria. As the federally and provincially appointed Indian Reserve Commissioner (1880–1898), Peter O’Reilly was responsible for the allotment of approximately 600 reserves across British Columbia, and so the family’s story is entwined with the disruptive processes of colonization that continue to have an impact on our present. The historic site and the artifacts this family left behind allow us to glance into the past and better understand the values and priorities of an influential settler colonial household in early British Columbia.

We strongly encourage you to integrate the lessons learned from Point Ellice House with discussions of differing settler and indigenous perspectives from British Columbia’s past and present.

How to Use These Resources

Our programs are developed with consideration of the current British Columbia Social Studies Curriculum in mind. They are designed to be delivered by educators directly to their students through worksheets or by visual presentation and discussion. If you are in the Victoria area, consider scheduling a visit to Point Ellice House with your students to experience these programs in-person instead. You could also coordinate a general visit in order to supplement these lessons after you have delivered the program in-class and allow your students to see the historic site for themselves.

Cost and Fees

There are no set fees for use of our educational programs, but as we are a non-profit society, we strongly encourage donations to support our work in providing these resources. Point Ellice House, its gardens and grounds, and its artifact collection have many lessons to teach students about the history of Victoria and British Columbia, and the colonial settlement of Canada more broadly.

If you have any questions regarding our programs, please contact our Visitor Experience and Programming Coordinator, Jeannine Worthing. Email: Jeannine@PointElliceHouse.com 

Available Programs

PROGRAM A: Waste & Water at Point Ellice House (Grades 1–5)

Program PackagePower Point Presentation

This program, based on research for our Springs & Scavengers Exhibit, is designed to help students begin thinking about water sources and waste management in the past and connect those concepts to their present. Students will learn about how the residents of Point Ellice House handled their personal hygiene, used the bathroom, and disposed of their wastewater, while comparing these realities to how these tasks are conventionally done in the present. 

Target: Grades: 1 through 5

Location Addressed: Point Ellice House, Victoria, British Columbia

Time Period Addressed: 1870s–1920s

Links to BC Social Studies Curriculum:
Relationships between a community and its environment
How people’s needs and wants are met in communities
Local (Victoria) and colonial settler history

PROGRAM B: Food Production & Preparation at Point Ellice House (Grades 1–5)

Program Package Power Point Presentation

This program, based on our work to restore the site’s South (Kitchen) Garden, is designed to help students begin thinking about where their food comes from and where people in the past got theirs. Students will be introduced to the kitchen and garden of the O’Reillys and learn about the realities of feeding an upper-class family in early Victoria.

Target Grades: 1 through 5

Location Addressed: Point Ellice House, Victoria, British Columbia

Time Period Addressed: 1870s–1920s

Links to BC Social Studies Curriculum:
Relationships between a community and its environment
How people’s needs and wants are met in communities
Local (Victoria) and colonial history