Wow! We both can’t believe another week in Fort Providence has flown by! This week was truly a test for our Type-A personalities when school was cancelled two out of five days! On Monday, teachers had a STIP day, so there were no students in the school. This gave us a chance to catch up on lesson planning and utilise the precious school wifi! After school, we worked on establishing more community connections and headed to the RCMP to have a great discussion with Jordan about health in the community. Our day ended off on an incredible note when we stayed up to catch a glimpse of the magical Northern Lights! For both of us, this was our first time seeing the Aurora Borealis in person and such a special moment that we had been waiting for during our time here in Fort Prov (seriously, we had the app with notifications and everything)!
We woke up on Tuesday morning a little more tired than usual from our almost-all-nighter, but were re-energized by the opportunity to go to Spring Camp with the grade 2-3 class this week! With all the students piling into the van each morning, we loved getting to be outside and experience the Deh Cho Dene culture each day! Spring Camp is clearly such a valuable aspect to our student’s well-being, which we, as Peer Health Educators, were very excited to be a part of.
We loved learning from our students and Jonas this week, some of our highlights included:
- Beach walks along the Mackenzie River, looking for shells, seeing the Deh Cho Bridge for the first time, and taking in the massive build-up of ice on the shoreline from Great Slave Lake!
- Looking for tadpoles and frog eggs in a nearby pond.
- Trying moose stew, Labrador tea, bannock, and fry bread for the first time!
- Getting the chance to run around and play some awesome games of Hide & Seek and Kick the Can.
- Beading with our students and colouring some cards for Mother’s Day. Shout out to our moms, Heather and Kathy, who we miss very much!
- Learning how to play traditional hand games and about the significance of the drum in the Dene culture!
- Learning about the significance of the Spring hunting season and seeing snow geese and swans in the sky above us.
We also were able to teach some health lessons while out on the land. We talked about body parts and emotions this week with the 2-3s. It was great to be able to teach the students in smaller groups and in an outdoor setting. This was especially conducive to acting out different emotions and ways to deal with them! Spring Camp so far has been an excellent opportunity to bond with our students and learn so much from them, and we look forward to continuing to attend Spring Camp two days a week with other classes!
By Friday morning, we were back in the school. Friday was a half day out of respect for the passing of an elder in the community. In the morning, we were still able to teach a lesson on healthy relationships and consent to grade 10-12 students. We talked about different kinds of relationships, healthy vs. unhealthy vs. abusive relationships, benefits of healthy relationships, and what consent entails. We felt that this lesson was very relevant and resonated well with the students, and we can’t wait to talk more about consent and sexual health with this class next week! After teaching the high school students, we popped into the grade 4-5 class to spend some time with them and help them finish their science projects. We ended the half day with music, when Kyle, the grade 6-7 teacher, came into the class with his guitar and led in some singing.
This weekend was spent catching up on paperwork, and spending some time out on the playground and on walks with our students. We were excited to get to know some of the girls in the community really well through endless games of tag and Grounders. We now have come to expect knocking on our door throughout the day to come and play.
Next week we plan on talking about hygiene, sleep, and nutrition with the K-1 and 2-3 class, and delve into healthy relationships and consent with the grade 4-7 students. Stay tuned for more updates from Fort Prov!
Catch us on the playground,
Annelise & Emily