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Canyon School Students Connect Natural World and Indigenous Knowledge

Students at Canyon School have been learning about - and advocating for - the natural world and connecting it to Indigenous knowledge and a national project.

The Horticultural Club students wanted to learn more about local plants, and teacher Aleksander Borucki invited local Blackfoot Elders and Knowledge Keepers to teach students about the local flora. Students studied the Blackfoot names of plants on their own time during recess and then explored the land for these plants. Horticultural Club students then shared this knowledge with their younger peers.

Another student, Odin, explored his passion for ants (Aissko'kiinaa, in Blackfoot) by educating his peers and constructing an enclosure to protect ants' nests. Odin advocated for ant safety to preserve biodiversity and habitats. A local Blackfoot Elder was so impressed with Odin's commitment to ants that he presented the young student with special ant hill dirt traditionally used for smudge boxes.

These projects now have national and international reach, as they are uploaded to Our Canada Project. This website provides Canadians a space to share what they are doing to make Canada a better place. 

"The benefits to the students are numerous," says Mr. Borucki. "Not only do they practice their public speaking skills and learn more about local flora and fauna, but they also get to hone their leadership skills, learn how to be stewards of the land, how to deal with joys and sometimes challenges of group work and more. They are also champions of reconciliation by putting work and effort into learning the Blackfoot names of the plants and therefore making sure they honour the linguistic traditions/legacy of this land."

See Canyon School's contributions to Our Canada Project:

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Address:
408 Victoria Crescent
Pincher Creek , Alberta T0K 1W0

Phone: 403-627-3118

Fax: 403-627-2210