We have officially arrived in Webequie! We had some technical difficulties getting internet access but now our blog is ready to go! 🙂
After two long days in our van on the road with the girls heading to Pickle Lake/Mishkeegogamang, we flew out to Webequie at 7:30am on Tueseday. The beautiful scenery and exciting chats about Initiative made the 19 hours of driving very enjoyable! We stopped for a night in Sudbury along the way (thanks Cait and Nate for hosting!) before continuing early the next morning en route to Thunder Bay. We will be meeting back up with the Pickle Lake/Miskeegogamang Peer Educators on our way home from Initiative and we can’t wait to share our experiences and do the beautiful drive once again!
A snapshot of our beautiful drive after just leaving Sault Ste Marie with the Pickle/Mish Peer Educators!
Lily excited to board our first flight on our way to Webequie!
We had a great first day in Webequie on Tuesday! We were warmly welcomed by members of the community and easily settled into our home for the next 5 weeks! After a quick stop at the grocery store, we were shown around the Simon Jacob Memorial Education Centre by Fabienne who is a QHO alumni and current teacher at the school. It was so nice to meet all of the teachers and kids as we walked through the hallways. We were very excited to go into the school the next morning to start working with the teachers to plan teaching topics and schedules for the different classrooms.
On Wednesday morning we were visited by Bob, one of the cultural coordinators of the community. He shared a lot of his own experiences, knowledge and insight, and he enlightened us on much of the culture in Webequie and background information about the community. He also reminded us how important relationships are, both with others and yourself, especially when it comes to overall health and wellbeing. It was very helpful to learn about how we can incorporate the local Indigenous culture into our lessons. We are so thankful for what Bob has already shared with us and we can’t wait to learn more from him over the next 5 weeks!
We spent the rest of our second day in Webequie talking to the teachers in the school and the principal Mary about what they think would be most beneficial for the students to learn about while we are here. We also created a QHO teaching schedule with timeslots for the teachers which filled up very quickly!! We are already looking forward to our first day in the classroom on Monday!
Today, on our third day in Webequie, we went back to the school to do some lesson planning and coordinating with teachers. We also visited the local health centre to talk to one of the nurses about relevant health topics and resources within the community who then gave us the contact information for one of the mental health counsellors in the community named Levi. He was very rich in knowledge about the community, provided us with a lot of important insight, and gave us ideas as to what would be helpful to teach in the classrooms. He shared a lot of what he thought children would benefit from learning and what skills we can help the children develop throughout our lessons.
Between lesson planning, meeting people in the community and getting settled, we’ve also spent lots of time in the gym playing hockey with the kids and going for walks around the island in big groups. Many of the kids seem just as excited as we are to be able to get into the classroom on Monday! It has been so nice to be able to meet so many people in our first few days in Web and to be welcomed so warmly! We can’t wait for the next 5 weeks!
Signing off with our new nicknames,
The Small One (Lily) and The Big One (Georgia)