Group Land-Based Learning Day in Joussard

Group Land-Based Learning Day in Joussard
Posted on 03/01/2023
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Grade K-6 students from École Routhier School and Joussard School participated in a group land-based learning event in Joussard on Thursday, February 16.
Knowledge Keeper Ramzey Zallum (Joussard) mentored students who fished on Lesser Slave Lake. They learned how to cut a hole in the ice and use fishing lines, hooks, and wooden sticks to jig, among many other things. One student successfully caught a northern pike, much to the excitement of his peers!
Allan and Ann Koski (Sucker Creek First Nation) led storytelling in the tipi.
Knowledge Keeper Ernest Patenaude (Driftpile Cree Nation) demonstrated survival skills. Teachings included fire-building skills and shelter-building.
Indigenous Education Coach Connie Sabo led students in Indigenous games. Connie quickly engaged students in the activities while taking every opportunity to incorporate Indigenous language and culture. Some games, such as the finger pull, took place at an elite level at the Arctic Winter Games earlier this month. Connie and the students counted out loud in Cree, and one student could count all the way to seventeen!
All students had the opportunity to make tire sur la neige, or ‘sugar on snow candy.’ French Canadians traditionally make this candy by pouring maple syrup onto the snow and rolling it onto a stick.
Hand games were led by Elder Herman Sutherland Sr. and Herman Sutherland Jr.(Grouard). This sport predates recorded history and has been passed down orally through generations for hundreds of years. It was also one of the events held at the 2023 Arctic Winter Games.
The day concluded with a demonstration of the Women’s Traditional Dance and Jingle Dress Dance. Farley Cardinal, Cultural Coordinator from Sucker Creek First Nation, described the meaning behind both dances before the dancers took to the floor to perform. Knowledge Keeper Ann Koski and Julia Sander, one of Joussard’s own teachers, danced in their regalia as Farley Cardinal drummed and sang for them. A Round Dance followed as students and staff came together to fill the entire gymnasium.
This event was an opportunity to showcase and celebrate French and Indigenous cultures and languages. Students were given the opportunity to connect with other students and mentors that they don’t typically come into contact with, and it turned out to be a great day of learning and fun.
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