Dechinta students share success stories
Northern News Services
Published Friday, Oct. 26, 2012
After 12 weeks of on the land and academic study, seven students are the latest to graduate from the Dechinta Bush University, and they are raving about the program.
Past graduate Kristen Tanche and Brooke Hope were so impressed by what they learned, that both are considering enrolling in post secondary programs at the popular NWT university.
The university, located at Blachford Lake Lodge, about 20 minutes from Yellowknife by charter plane, offers Northern and aboriginal courses – courses which are “taught by Northern leaders, about the Northern context, with an agenda set by Northerners, supported by leading professors with relevant experience,” according to Dechinta’s website.
Courses this semester included self-determination in theory and in practice, health promotion, sustainable community development, traditional leadership, community-based research methodologies and community governance.
The opportunity to learn history and traditional languages impressed Tanche the most.
“I wanted to take Dechinta ever since it opened,” said Tanche, a financial officer with Simpson Air. She said the program exposed her to, “A lot of history of the Northwest Territories at the academic level, which you don’t really get that at other post secondary schools.”
Remaining true to traditional Dene learning, and revisiting traditional language was also a draw for Tanche.
Hope, currently living in Yellowknife and hoping to enrol in another Dechinta program, enjoyed the hands on aspect to academic work.
“It was cool to have elders out there, and being able to build relationships with the professors … we learned a lot about self-governing and self-determination,” Hope said.
Seven students graduated this fall, and according to Hope and Tanche, the experience is one that everyone should experience.
“I think it’s important for people to know the history and where you come from,” Hope said.
The Northern university has received many academic nods this past year, including the Ashoka Changemakers Award for Education Innovation from the Royal Bank of Canada.
The award recognizes innovation in leadership and educational programming.