Next week marks the beginning of an Indigenous land-based science summer camp for youth at Canadore College.
Camp Kikandaaswiwin Mookiisin, meaning ‘knowledge springing forth, is open to Indigenous youth aged 14-18. They will spend 15 days at Camp Petawachuan in Dokis First Nation learning traditional teachings and participating in hands-on, land-based activities to explore Indigenous science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
“The camp is designed to impart culturally-based teachings about land, water, and creation and link them back to the roles and responsibilities we carry related to the environment and land use,” said Patricia Chabbert, business and Indigenous relations manager at Canadore College. “So much can be done to foster leadership qualities and build consensus and community-building and that’s really what this is all about.”
The land-based camp is free to participants through Canadore College’s partnership with Actua. Actua is a national charity that is preparing youth to be innovators and leaders by engaging them in exciting and accessible STEM experiences that build critical skills and confidence.
Similar Indigenous STEM camps are being offered across Canada, five of which are taking place in Ontario.
“Canadore’s First Peoples’ STEM program is currently being developed with a focus to engage Indigenous children, students and communities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics pathways,” said Mary Wabano, director of Canadore’s First Peoples’ Centre and associate dean of the School of Indigenous Studies. “It celebrates the rich histories and modern technologies of Indigenous STEM knowledges, ensuring that content is relatable and inspiring to the fastest-growing and youngest population in Canada.”
Wabano goes on to say that the college’s STEM programming equally recognizes and respects the unique access and retention needs of Indigenous Peoples and that the innovative and land-based initiatives are deeply rooted in Indigenous cultural practices and values, nurturing future generations to achieve their potential and fulfill their critical role in the world.
Camp Kikandaaswiwin Mookiisin runs from July 22 – August 5 and each participant will earn an interdisciplinary high school credit and a Canadore College postsecondary credit.