Chancellor Amos is hoping to eventually turn one of his school assignments into a full-time job.
Amos, a 31-year-old Nuu-chah-nulth student, is currently completing his final course in the Indigenous Studies program at Victoria’s Camosun College.
Part of the course requirement is a project which consists of students either participating in an event and detailing their experiences or creating a program for others to participate in.
Amos, a member of the Ehattesaht First Nation, opted to create a program where he leads a group of individuals on group rides on mountain bike trails.
“I’ve always been on a bike, whether it’s a mountain bike or a BMX,” Amos said. “And I’ve always enjoyed being on a bike and just riding.”
As part of his school project, Amos was hoping to lead a group of Indigenous youth on a mountain bike adventure in Duncan this past weekend.
Though a number of youth had expressed interest in coming out this past weekend, none actually did. Amos attributed this to poor promotion on his part and a late start in getting the word out about his event.
“It was a learning experience,” he said. “I waited too long to promote my event. It wasn’t enough time. That was part of the lesson I learned.”
Amos, however, did not abandon his concept altogether after he discovered that no youth would be showing up.
He led a group of a half a dozen adults on a group ride through some trails on Mount Tzouhalem. As he was planning to do with the Indigenous youth, Amos took time during the ride to explain the cultural and historical significance of riding on Indigenous land.
“The reason I continued with the group ride is that I have a presentation to do this week,” Amos said. “And I didn’t want to present on nothing.”
With some additional planning, Amos is now hoping to create a summer job for himself. He is keen to run mountain bike clinics and rides for youth throughout the Cowichan Valley.
Besides operating these events on Mount Tzouhalem, Amos is also keen to run others on Mount Prevost, Maple Mountain and Cobble Hill Mountain.
“Duncan is really well known for mountain biking,” Amos said. “They have a great network of trails up there around Cowichan.”
Amos has been living in Duncan for the past two-and-a-half years. And he’s become an avid rider of the area’s trails.
“I picked up a mountain bike three years ago and I’ve been heavily into it,” he said.
Besides being a member of the Ehattesaht First Nation where his mother is from, Amos also has a connection to another Nuu-chah-nulth community. His father is from the Hesquiaht First Nation.
Should he indeed go on to launch his business of providing mountain bike clinics and rides for Indigenous youth, Amos eventually would like to stage some of these events in various Nuu-chah-nulth communities.
“That is my dream and my passion,” he said. “Mountain biking does so many things that are good for you.”
Amos believes far too many youth are easily distracted by modern technologies and spend a vast amount of time indoors, playing video games or on computers.
He’s hoping to change that through mountain biking.
“The whole idea is to bring back that element of getting back on the land and having fun,” he said.