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Classroom of the Wilderness


Ten aboriginal high school students were fortunate enough to get a chance to go on a caribou hunt at MacKay Lake last month, as they set out on an unusual trip where students trek out of the classroom, and into the wilderness.

Through a process where students filled out forms and were interviewed, Mike Johntson, trip organizer, elected ten to go out on the land and experience the natural world. Many students were excited for the trip, many preoccupied with their televisions or academic studies. It could be this percentage of students enveloped in technology as to why a trip like this one, out into the heart of the wilderness, could be so important for a growing mind’s world view.

Johnston wanted students to learn how to harvest their own food and appreciate that kind of lifestyle, to really see just how it must have been for their ancestors. While a caribou was not caught, there was a lot of fishing and a few ptarmigan bagged, and of course, as any great outdoors trip will have, plenty of stories. It was a time for students and teacher to bond and see the world in a different light. Everyone had an amazing time.

Lodging was given by the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, who also loaned the students their boats. This was a five day trip, totaling over $16,000, paid by YK Education District No. 1 and Sheila Stewart. Johnston is making those who attended the trip engage in fund-raising for the school in order to pay it off.  More trips like this will be in the schedule, but because of the high costs, it is likely that it will be every other year.


Source: Northern News Services



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