Going Where the Kids Are: Land Based Learning

I was a dreamer, I’ve been a dreamer
since child. The dreams of my old age now is to see our young people thrive. I wish
they could have an education like you guys have and it wouldn’t be so hard for
them to make the transition from their home reserved life into the city life. I
think it’s not only my dream I think it’s a dream of most elders of the
Sekani nation to see the youth to good. We started with Geering Up last year and
the idea was the UBC students from science and engineering would come to
the community and provide some workshops with our kids in the classroom with
hands-on science experiments. Last year was hugely successful and we had a
conversation afterwards about coming back this year but also expanding
the program and doing a campout. We’ve been running a full day camp with the Tsay Keh Dene and Kwadacha First Nations. We’re doing science and engineering
activities in the outdoors. It’s actually really cool where we’re taking
Indigenous knowledge of the land inherent knowledge that kids already
have of science and technology within their own communities and Geering Up has come in with their knowledge of STEM and aligning the two different types of
knowledges so that the kids recognize that they’ve always had science in their
communities, they’ve always had technology, engineering, mathematics to
some degree. It’s been really cool to watch the kids
really flourish in their own environment. We’re learning so much about how to be
in their territory and seeing how they can integrate their
knowledge of science and engineering into what they see all the time, everyday is really cool. Culturally that’s where learning has taken place out in
the land out in the territory. Our big goal is building on language and culture
with the kids and getting that program so our kids can pass that down to their
kids eventually. You’d be amazed at the difference you see with them in a
classroom and with four walls versus out here with no walls and under the big
blue sky they’re just they’re comfortable, they’re at home, you
see it really different side of them tha you do in the classroom,. It takes
away the whole formality of school and they don’t realize they’re learning when
they’re working so hard at things it’s just becomes natural. Right now we’ll have everyone design and
construction their own chairs from things that they can find in the
woodlands and then they’re going to be trying to sell those chairs to us at the
end of the activity. I think chair building was my favorite activity
because we got them to be really creative with what they found, to find
natural materials, and with very limited input from us, they came up with really
creative designs that I couldn’t come up with. They used the environment around
them that they know so well and they used it to build and they used it to
engineer in a new way. I’m Hayley and I’m 14, Rayn 14. Arielle and I’m 12. I’m Casey and I’m 12 years old. I’m Aiden and I’m in grade 7. Hi camera, my name’s Adrianna. My name’s Alyssa we’re
making chairs out of natural resources. I’m Monty, we are building chairs. We made a solar oven. We’re building boats with foam plates in blue lake. We made ours in a square shape and put tinfoil inside. What are we using to power them? Motors.. elastic bands. You learn more about our culture and you science out here and we get to do
more activities than we could do in a classroom. They’re actually learning
and it’s authentic learning they’re physically doing it and they realize
that they can. The community is very proud of them. They want us, they want a
school and the community at large to use the
land more in these recreational activities and in a learning environment
because I mean all the learning before was done on the land and informally so it’s really a natural place to to do this. It’d be great build the
relationships with the university so then it’s not as scary to go out they’ll
have those connections there they can go to university, it’s not something that’s
out of reach for them. Some of these kids don’t get out very often they don’t see life
outside of Kwadacha or Tsay Keh so showing them what’s out there, what they
can achieve because they don’t they don’t realize that they don’t experience
it. Continuity is really important so that the kids can see that people
actually do care about us, they want us to learn, they’re here for us. Having that
base is really important so that they know that we’re not alone here, we’re not
in isolation. We’re part of BC, we’re part of Canada. You can learn the same things
as those kids out there. Continuity is huge for us
it’s something I’ve I’ve learned in my my time here. Building relationships with
the students, getting to know them on a personal level, they get to know you.
When the relationship is there, then learning can take place.
They’re already excited, They’re already talking about next year, they want to do this
again. I think what your company is doing, what Geering Up is doing, is a very positive move that you guys are doing among the young people. I really appreciate you guys
coming into our little wilderness community, going out of your way to come here and sharing your knowledge and your ideas and your dreams with us, as we
ourselves with you. So thank you very much for coming to us.

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