Northern Journal 15 June 2015
For Peter Andrew, the violent history of colonization of indigenous peoples in Canada is a difficult topic to speak about, let alone study in the classroom.
“It was one of the hardest things I could listen to,” he shared. “But it’s a history we can’t let other people forget, how indigenous people were treated not just in Canada, but worldwide.”
The 48 year-old student from Tulita is one of seven currently wrapping up the spring semester at the Dechinta Bush University on Blachford Lake in the NWT wilderness.
Fortunately, he said, the intertwining of on-the-land activities with some of the more troubling lessons in history made them easier to process, providing some respite from the triggering talk of residential schools and colonial policies and reminding him of the strength and perseverance of indigenous peoples.
March 2, 2015
Members of the Legislative Assembly and staff running the only Canadian land-based post-secondary outfit are fighting together for increased funding to provide wider access to the North’s sole university institution.
Proponents for the increasingly popular Dechinta Bush University Centre for Research and Learning agree that the institute is underfunded for the demand it receives and are asking that the school be recognized by the NWT Education Act to amend the issue.
What I get out of Dechinta, that I wouldn’t get anywhere else, is that I get to learn in my community. I don’t have to leave to gain traditional knowledge. – Charlotte Overvold, Winter/Spring 2014 Semester
By Meagan Wohlberg
Northern Journal, June 2, 2014
The semester featured courses in Indigenous self-determination, social determinants of Aboriginal health, community governance and sustainability, along with time spent on the land with Elders harvesting moose, beaver and fish.
Erasmus said the way in which both classroom and land-based components were equally prioritized in the program was, for him, profound. “They were on par with each other; they were equal to each other. One wasn’t more valuable than the other in this case. So I really appreciated that, and I think it made me appreciate my own culture, where I come from, as an Aboriginal person,” he said.
By Andrea Woo
Globe and Mail, June 1 2014
It’s hard to get an [educational] opportunity like this in Southern Canada because of the way the population has grown, and the way lands are used there,” said Cat McGurk, a 20-year-old student in Dechinta’s spring 2014 semester.
“When people are interacting with the land – living off of it, dependent on it – that’s where a lot of the connection that we talk about comes from. I think it makes relationships that occur on those lands deeper and more meaningful.