Sunday August 14, 2016

Learning from the land while preserving culture

Educator and writer Leanne Simpson teaches about the wampum belt during a session of land-based education in northern Manitoba.

Educator and writer Leanne Simpson teaches about the wampum belt during a session of land-based education in northern Manitoba. (Tennille Bear)

Listen to Full Episode 38:42

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We're heading out on the land, looking up at the sky and growing the seeds of culture. 

How would like to attend a university course beside a beautiful lake instead of in a classroom? Rather than reading about the land you would learn by being on the land. That's the premise behind land-based education.

Tasha Spillett

Educator Tasha Spillett (Facebook)

Instead of trying to fit Indigenous knowledge into a classrooom. It takes the class to the knowledge. Winnipeg educator Tasha Spillett explains this innovative way of teaching.

Ghost River Rediscovery camp

The Ghost River Rediscovery camp is located on Stoney Nation land, west of Calgary. (Ghost River Rediscovery/YouTube)

The Ghost River Rediscovery camp in Alberta is not your average camp. Campers sleep in teepees, they learn from a First Nation elder and reconnect with their Indigenous heritage. CBC's Paul Karchut took the long, bumpy ride to check the camp out for himself.

Back in February Unreserved took a road trip to visit Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. It is the home land of the Haudenosaunee or the People of the Longhouse.

Collage Terrylynn Brant

Mohawk seed keeper Terrylynn Brant in her garden, and white corn that she harvested. (Courtesy of Terrylynn Brant/Facebook )

We met TerryLynn Brant who is a Mohawk seed keeper. Her family has carried the responsibility of growing corn. But as Brant will share, the seeds grow more than just food.

When you look up at the night sky how many constellations can you name? The Big Dipper, Orion, the North Star. What about Wasagajack?

Wilfred Buck is a science educator in Manitoba. He teaches about the Cree constellations. Earlier this season Unreserved headed out into the bush with him and looked up at the night sky.

Watch: Wilfred Buck explains Cree constellations

Instead of games and ghost stories, it's germs and microscopes at this summer camp. The Science and Health Sciences Summer camp is in Kamloops, B.C., and is run by the Thompson Rivers University.

They hope to attract more Indigenous students to the sciences. The CBC's Jennifer Norwell stopped by and spoke to kids as they worked in a microbiology lab.

In Old Crow, Yukon, the Porcupine River is the centre of the community. It's the place to fish, hunt, travel and swim. So the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation wanted to make sure everyone stays safe. Two Whitehorse lifeguards recently traveled to Old Crow to teach kids how to stay safe in the river.

Ila Barker

Musician Ila Barker. (Natasha Camille Photography)

This week's playlist:

Ila Barker - If the Sun Burns Out

Lloyd Cheechoo - James Bay

A Tribe Called Red - R.E.D.

Iskwé - Sometimes

stories from this episode