Deborah and Reid individually have strong careers in education and long records of involvement in health, wellness, outdoor and environmental education. Their individual abridged biographies attest to this statement. However, it is together that they shine!
Both Reid and Deborah are certified in, and Facilitators for the following environmental education programs: Project WILD, Below Zero, Focus on Forests Saskatchewan, Project WET, Growing Up WILD, and Project Wet's Getting Little Feet Wet. Together they add in Flying WILD and Project WET's Healthy Water, Healthy People, as well as a familiarity with the new French Projet WET, Module 1 to that long list of qualifications. Most of the training for these certifications were on their own time and at their own expense. They also both participated in the two provincial writing workshops contributing to the Canadian Below Zero manuscript and the Canadian content to Project WET.
Both have lived and taught in northern Saskatchewan, including the remote, fly-in First Nation Reserve community of Stoney Rapids. They also lived in Wollaston Lake and Beauval and are finishing their formal careers in La Ronge. While Deborah is a certified fitness instructor and has delivered Weight Watchers programming for over 20 years as her after-hours avocation, Reid has delivered Firearm Safety courses to adults in northern Saskatchewan communities on weekends and evenings for over two decades, as a Master Firearms Instructor. of particular note, Deborah was instrumental in weaving the 'Project' suite of environmental education programs throughout the four years of the curriculum for the Indigenous teacher education students in the NORTEP program for more than a decade, so that the graduates returned to their northern communities with an entire tool box of instructional resource materials and the skills to adapt them to their northern communities' culture and the needs of Indigenous students.
Through their commitment and passion for high quality environmental education, hundreds of educators in northern Saskatchewan have received training thought half, full and multi-day certification workshops. Further, they have co-planned and co-delivered two Facilitator Leadership Development workshops in La Ronge to certify additional northern and Indigenous educators to be able to plan and deliver Project WILD and Project WET certification workshops. Between them this past year and a half, they also certified 17 educators as Getting Little Feet Wet Facilitators.
Last year they raised the bar once again and took additional training through distance education to qualify as Project WET Leaders of Leaders. With the National Education Coordinator, they co-planned and co-facilitated a three day Trainer of Trainers workshop in Yellowknife, for eight new Facilitators from northern Saskatchewan, northern Alberta and Yukon, Nunavut and Northwest Territories, as well as mentoring three new northern Coordinators to be qualified to train their own provincial and territorial Facilitators.
Scenes from that workshop may be viewed in a three plus minute video produced by Roseanne Dery, of La Ronge, at this link: https://cwra.org/en/resources/#media. Deborah and Reid are pictured in the second to last picture with Workshop Host, Stephanie Yuill, NWT Project WET Coordinator, and can be viewed in action throughout the video.
Linda and I ask the Melanson Award Committee to award Reid and Deborah jointly in 2019, on this special occasion to mark the Association's 50th anniversary. They are a special couple who, through their dedication, service and long-term commitment to the north, will have left a lasting legacy of outdoor and environmental education knowledge and skills in the Indigenous and northern communities of Saskatchewan.