A lot has happened since our last update and we are very excited to share!
After completing the student survey a couple weeks ago, we had teachers fill out a similar survey, leaving room for comments, suggestions and recommendations. We’ve gotten some great and thoughtful feedback! Thank you to all the teachers who took the time to complete the survey – the input is appreciated and very useful!
As of now, we have been very busy working behind the scenes developing a program designed to target the specific needs in the community. After countless hours typing away, editing and adding to our major documents, we are very pleased with our progress. We’ve used the information we’ve gathered from community members, services, teachers and students to create two documents: 1) A cultural sensitivity guideline (including an overview of existing programs, challenges and opportunities) for each age group of students, and 2) a new NWT Initiative Fort Providence Program Manual, which is a community-specific version of our QHO-wide resource manual, complete with edited and added sections of health topics specific to the needs of the students.
To keep everyone in the loop, we’ve presented updates at the school staff meeting and have been following up with various services. We have been pleasantly surprised at the interest level thus far; it was a huge compliment when individuals began asking for copies of our data to help benefit the existing programs and services. It’s great that our research will have multiple uses!
Time has practically flown by, but it has not passed without opportunity to do fun activities in our spare time! To list some of our highlights …
Camp! We had the opportunity to attend camp with the elementary students, where we were given tours of some impressive forts (complete with log chairs and moss carpets), watched the students skin and prepare fish to be smoked over the fire, and learned about and participated in traditional hand games!
Pop cans! The targets that we did not hit when Ranger Cliff took us out on the land and taught us how to use his rifles and listened to his stories about his time as a Ranger.
Pop cans! Some of the items we picked up during the community clean up.
Ice cream! What we were rewarded with after the community clean up.
Potluck! To celebrate the birth of our two friends, Ben and Nick.
Bugs! We’re beginning to spend a lot of time with some new friends (read: unwelcomed guests), Mister Mosquito and Sir Flying Ant. They even attended our cook-out at Kakisa Falls.
Now, for our most exciting news…
*drum roll please*
We are packing up our bags and heading to Fort Simpson, NWT!
Fine, fine, okay; we’ll elaborate…
After the past month of working with Principal Lois, she has expressed the interest in expanding QHO programs into other communities. She arranged for us to meet with Terry, the Superintendent of the Dehcho Divisional Education Council, while she was in Fort Providence. During our meeting, we talked about QHO’s goals as an organization, our work thus far in Fort Providence, and our long-term goals in the community. Needless to say, she was very impressed and eager to present us with the opportunity to run a similar program development process for a specified group of high school students in Fort Simpson. After discussing logistics, we decided it would be feasible for us to go and explore QHO’s potential within Fort Simpson.
So, we are now heading west for the next five days to see what Fort Simpson has in store.
Until next time,
Lauren and Allie!
Hand-made moccasin count: 4 (one for each foot… 2+2=4)