School district, Qalipu band partner for outdoor education program

Published on June 6, 2014
Students from Burgeo Academy, Lourdes Elementary, Our Lady of Mercy Elementary and E.A. Butler All Grade assemble a puzzle to learn about taking only what you need as part of teachings about the medicine wheel at Kildevil Camp.
Submitted photo

The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District and the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band are partnering for the delivery of the Residential Outdoor Education Program.

The curriculum-based program, started in 1997 as a collaboration with Parks Canada and is based at Killdevil Camp in Gros Morne National Park.

The camp provides students in the Western region an opportunity to participate in an intensive 2.5 day learning adventure that brings their learning into the great outdoors.  

In a statement, Qalipu chief Brendan Sheppard said he was pleased with the partnership, one which will include a cultural interpreter position to deliver Mi’kmaq teachings.

“These teachings introduce students to the long and rich history of the Mi’kmaq people (including) unique cultural, social, political and spiritual traditions, and values of respect and caring for the environment,” Sheppard said.

“The band seeks to promote the involvement of youth and Elders through these cultural activities.”

For her part, Margaret McKeon, outdoor education co-ordinatior with the school district said the partnership with be beneficial and educational for all students.

“Aside from greatly enriching the program experience, aboriginal culture and history are a big part of the Grade 5 social studies curriculum,” McKeon said.

“Students really connect with this cultural learning – particularly for the many who have Mi’kmaq ancestry.”

Approximately 900 students, 200 parent chaperones and 40 teachers will participate this year at Killdevil and at a similar program in Red Bay.