Sacred Stewardship has now been going for the last few weeks. The students have been amazing and we have had a great time living in the community of Iskut, reuniting with the Klabona Keepers and meeting new friends.
The first two night we arrived we were greeted by spectacular northern lights that lit up the night sky. Dancing across the sky we watched in amazement and deep appreciation for this beautiful unceded Tahltan territory.
We began working with the students and taking different classes out every day. We snowshoed along trails while playing games and talking about the importance of the natural world around us.
With the older students we had our first days of using the donated cameras we had brought with us. We wanted to use cameras as a way to not only assist the children in how to take photographs, but also how imagery can be used to tell a story. The idea with the cameras and focusing on media literacy with the older students is to work towards putting the power of telling their own story in to their hands. It was great to watch the kids examining their surroundings and their friends through photography.
We also used the sketchbooks donated to us from OPUS, each student in the school has been given a sketchbook to carry on with the theme of storytelling. With some of the younger students we used the local plants we found on a scavenger hunt to draw. Eventually we are working to create a collection of photographs, drawings and writing from the children's experience snowshoeing on their territory. With the compilation of work we are going to host an art show at the school and invite the community. In addition, we are looking towards creating a book of the students work that tells a story of how they experience their territory.
The following weeks were spring break where we continued with our snowshoe program and also took a trip to Whitehorse after Tamo was invited to play on the Iskut Wolverine hockey team in the all Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The trip was so much fun watching hockey with the community and we even got to see a small herd of caribou, two lynx, and many buffalo. Seeing so many animals and the beauty of the North was a great reminder of how special and diverse and largely intact the environment is up here.