Laurentian University student starts 'cultural camp' for non-Indigenous youth
'Indigenous people are welcoming and want you to learn about the culture,' says Kaella-Marie Earle
A Laurentian University student from Wikwemikong is working to start a cultural camp for non-Indigenous Youth.
The camp on Manitoulin Island is set to open at the beginning of next month, Kaella-Marie Earle said. The main goal is to "change the narrative for Canadians on Indigenous cultures, values and humanitarian issues," she said.
"If we can teach the culture to non-Indigenous youth, it will help strengthen relationships between Canadians and help inspire policy makers to address these calls to action."
Earle said many Canadians don't know a lot about Indigenous culture, and she's hoping that an open, safe place to talk will change that.
"I want people to know that Indigenous people are welcoming and want you to learn about the culture," she said.
"That's what I'm trying to teach people."
Camp also open to Indigenous who have lost touch with culture
Earle said she's recruited an Indigenous professor and an elder for the camp. She said teachings will be about things like traditional foods, traditional ways of life and Indigenous governance. Campers will also get the chance to participate in a sweat lodge.
She adds it's also open to Indigenous people who have lost touch with their culture and traditions.
"There are a lot of Indigenous students who are out of touch with their culture because of Canada's past colonial views on education," Earle said. "We do have one Indigenous person and we're welcoming him and other students who are interested in connecting with their cultures."
Earle said so far, she's heard from people across the province who are interested in attending the camp, all between 18 and 30 years old.