South Peace News
Midway through winter, Grade 5 students in two local schools got a hands-on lesson how to survive in the bush.
Students in separate classes at High Prairie Elementary School spent a day in the cold at Sucker Creek Cree Nation on Jan. 15-16. The next day, students at Joussard School took part in the program.
High Prairie School Division introduced the program called land- based learning.
“Land-based learning has been active in the school division for three years,” says Diane Bellerose, Indigenous support lead for HPSD.
Sucker Creek is participating in its first year in the program, she adds.
HPSD Indigenous success coach Joyce Hunt says the outdoors provide vast opportunities to learn.
“This is nature’s first classroom, being outdoors,” Hunt says.
“You learn about physical education, science, math, and social activities.”
She says Indigenous people know how to use the natural elements of trees, shelters, fires, the sun, moon and stars.
Students learned the basic skills to survive if they got lost or stranded in a remote area.
Sucker Creek Elder Ron Willier was the main teacher for the students.
“This is a lesson if you do get lost in the bush,” Willier says.
“If you get lost, build a shelter and a fire and find lots of fire wood and gather your stuff before night falls,” Willier says.