Teachers wanted to provide real-life learning for students in the outdoors, culminate a variety of learning that happened in the classroom, get outside and out of the city, and create opportunities for new learning experiences for students.
Our student population is mixed in terms of cultural background, socio-economic class, and access to/knowledge of outdoor or traditional Indigenous learning. This outdoor school and the learning leading up to it really did allow us to seee some students as brilliant leaders in and the light in others’ eyes as had experiences that they’ve never had the opportunity for before. For example, some of our immigrant students had never been outside their area of the city of Regina before coming to Canada. Some, though, were able to show off skills and knowledge learned from their grandparents on the land.
Activities before and during the day included: fire building, cooking on a fire, archery, horse-back riding, bird/nature watching, journaling in nature, sliding (tubing), finding traditional medicines and making tea with them, and sleigh rides. Our day opened with a prayer to recognize the land and concluded with a sharing circle. This one-day event was part of a series of trips that began with ice fishing in January, then this trip, later they went on a one night trip in May, and then embarked on a 3 night trip in June.