By Antonia Maioni
Mitacs, May 2014
“University mobility” is not just geographical but disciplinary. It includes rethinking the BA, largely the extent to which it provides cross-disciplinary knowledge, exposure to different methods and skills, and experiential learning opportunities. Preparing students for a lifetime of adaptation means encouraging their curiosity and nimbleness through the exploration of multiple trajectories of study, including practical pathways that lead to careers. Universities are ideal and fertile ground to produce graduates who truly understand context and who “get” the big picture.
By Erin Montour and Stephen Huddart
Globe and Mail, December 11, 2013
As the Dechinta Bush University example illustrates, these youth leaders recognize that for reconciliation to take place, mainstream society has to make room for the assertion of indigenous choice and the expression of indigenous culture and knowledge.
By Katie Hyslop
The Tyee, November 22, 2013
The Centre is a land-based, First Nations-driven, post-secondary program, the only one in the north to offer university credits in the arts outside of distance education, and in fact the only university program of its kind anywhere in Canada.
Such survival skills are still important in the north, especially outside of Yellowknife, where livelihoods depend on access to the land for hunting, fishing, and gathering wood and medicines. Government of Northwest Territories (GNWT) restrictions on land uses and generations of forced enrollment in residential schools, however, mean they are not being passed down like they used to be.
Dechinta’s novel program is “providing at least an introduction back into those practices, which might cultivate a spirit of curiosity in students and a yearning to reconnect,” Coulthard said.
“[The traditional] academic context tends to be didactic learning: you’ve got one person at the front of the classroom and everyone taking notes,” Leanne Simpson, the other professor for this course, told me. “An indigenous education model is discussion-based: it’s learning by doing, learning by observation, learning by listening, learning by being actively engaged physically in a process.”
Northern Journal, November 11, 2013
Sam Mantla of Gameti was one of the students with existing hands-on experience participating in traditional bush activities, who decided to pursue the program to both boost his academic credentials and give him some additional real world experience.
He said the experience has given him a stronger understanding of who he is as a Tlicho person and where he fits into the world, especially thanks to the several elders who were onsite for the six weeks to pass on their teachings.