Society & Culture
Ten-day camp challenges students in Gwich’in community to live on the land while earning high-school and university course credits.
When 17-year-old Kristopher Colin heard about the opportunity to earn university credits while participating in a fish camp near his home community of Fort McPherson, he knew he couldn’t pass it up.
“[Land-based learning] is important for us, culturally. It gives us a base for our cultural identity,” he said. “It helps us find and strengthen that.”
Members of the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Native Studies worked closely with Fort McPherson community leadership, Chief Julius School and local elders to develop a camp that met the community’s needs. The 10-day Ganahghootr'onatan land camp on the Peel River hosted Colin and three other students from the school in the Northwest Territories.
The students were taught an introductory course—on Gwich’in governance, focusing on food sovereignty, decolonization and Gwich’in leade...