SAMBAA K'E/TROUT LAKE
From dolphins to ancient sea creatures, students from Charles Tetcho School in Trout Lake got a taste of life outside the Northwest Territories last month.
Ts'ahlekea Rocque-Jumbo checks out a selection of rocks and minerals at the Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria. - photo courtesy of Charles Tetcho School
On June 9 the students departed for Victoria, B.C., where they stayed until June 16. After that, they spent three days in Vancouver.
Teacher Lynn MacFadyen said the trip was primarily to give her students an opportunity to experience educational and cultural activities in a larger community setting.
"We went on a little tour of the B.C. legislature and they saw a canoe that represented how everyone is using the earth and travelling in the same canoe, so we have to be stewards of the earth," she said.
"They also had a special session in Vancouver with the inspector of the SkyTrain, who took us on a tour behind the scenes to learn about the safety of the SkyTrain system."
There, students met an officer and witnessed a demonstration with a dog trained to sniff out explosives.
"The children were all very enthusiastic about getting to pet the dog and watching it use its skills," MacFadyen said.
"They also took us down to the control room - they never take tours there, but they took us because there was a special connection. We got to see the trains in action and how they move the trains on the screen."
In all, nine students from grades two to eight had the chance to check out the Royal B.C. Museum and Quw'utsun Cultural Centre, which MacFadyen said had many unique indigenous displays. The students also participated in activities at the Victoria Butterfly Gardens and went whale watching, among other activities.
Kaechoa Rocque-Jumbo, 9, said whale watching was her favourite part of the trip. She learned about different kinds of whales, including the humpback whale.
She said the students also learned about some of the important parts of the local First Nation's culture while at the Quw'utsun Cultural Centre.
"We saw the different types of totem poles used for different things," she said.
Jada Lamalice, 12, said the kids had to read bus schedules and use city maps to get around Victoria.
"We learned safety protocols for buses, boats and walking around the city," she said.
Lamalice also enjoyed going to the legislative assembly and the museum, where she learned about ancient creatures.
"It was really cool to learn about history at the museum. I liked the woolly mammoth," she said.
Shannon Jumbo, 8, said she would love to return to Victoria and Vancouver at some point in the future. This is the second school trip she has been on.
"I've never seen a dolphin before; that was my favourite part," she said.
The trip culminated in a written, oral or visual product each student created to share their experiences. They wrote journals and had to tell each other about their favourite parts of the trip.
"While we were there, they had to explain to each other different displays. It was all language and math oriented," MacFadyen said.
"It was just a very interesting, educational experience for them."
To help raise money for the trip, students worked at a canteen, made soap for sale, participated in a community clean up and sold baked goods. They were helped out with sponsorship from the Sambaa K'e Dene Band, the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs, Kingland Ford and the local District Educational Authority.