Week 3 in Fort Prov: Eat, Sleep, Bead, REPEAT

For our third week in Fort Providence, we had a wonderful balance of teaching in the classroom and spending time at Spring Camp. We started our week off talking about sleep and hygiene with the K-1, 2-3, and 4-5 classes. The grade 4-5s had so many awesome questions regarding sleep, especially in relation to how sleep is affected by sugar and healthy eating! We were excited that we already had a nutrition lesson up our sleeves for Friday, where we would be able to answer their questions in depth. The K-1s learned how germs spread when we poured glitter on their hands and tasked them with shaking hands with their classmates – they then impressed us with their hand washing skills afterwards!

We capped off our week by discussing nutrition; focusing on the new Canada’s Food Guide, reasons why eating nutritious meals is important, and measuring out sugar in popular beverages such as pop, juice, energy drinks, and water (most of the students actually were able to guess that water has ZERO teaspoons of sugar!). The grade 4-5s drew their favourite healthy foods for us on paper plates, in portions that reflected that of the recommendations of Canada’s Food Guide. Check out some of their work in the photo below!

            This week we were looking forward to talking about sexual health with the high school students. We covered topics like contraceptives and STIs! At the beginning of the lesson, we had the students write down popular slang terms they knew related to sex, and “throw them away” towards us at the front of the room. Afterwards, we worked together to decode the terms so we all knew the correct “official” names for everything that was written down. With lots of very important and relevant information to get across in our hour session with the classes, we continued to be impressed by their engagement! So many intuitive questions were in our question box, which we are preparing to address in our next lesson!

            We attended Spring Camp twice this week with the grade 6-7 class! We were able to fit in some discussions about healthy relationships in smaller groups throughout our time there. We especially enjoyed getting some additional time with the girls, where they were able to write down some extra questions for the question box and have them answered right away. We had some “girl talk” about an array of topics – everything from romantic partners to friendships to the latest YouTube drama was discussed (thank goodness Annelise had gotten the chance to watch the latest 43 minute video in the James Charles-Tati Westbrook feud the day before on that precious school wifi)– there were even some questions about our lives which we loved answering. We both felt that this allowed us to connect with the girls and we hope to be able to spend more time with this group throughout the coming weeks!

            Both of us were ecstatic to begin beading some lanyards with Charlene over the course of our time at Spring Camp this week! Beading has been a fabulous way to pass our evenings once we are done our lesson planning, and we are both looking forward to finishing soon! As far as cuisine goes, this week we were able to try duck soup (and even got the chance to watch the ducks being plucked and cooked). We learned about drying fish and meat from some of the elders at camp. We loved trying dried moose meat, which reminded us of beef jerky; and are hoping to try the dried fish when it is ready next week!

            On Tuesday, some representatives from the government of the Northwest Territories came and participated in Spring Camp. They watched us teach (nerve-wracking to say the least!), and over lunch we had a great conversation with the Minister of Health, Glen Abernethy, regarding the new health policy framework in the Northwest Territories and also had the chance to explain what QHO does! We participated in the annual community clean up that is held in Fort Prov each year at Spring Camp, and cleaned up some garbage along the road on Thursday morning. On Thursday afternoon we were told some fiddlers were coming to work with the students, which we were excited to have the opportunity to experience. You can imagine Emily’s surprise when her old fiddle teacher from the Sunshine Coast Summer Celtic Camp, Gordon Stobbe, was one of them! With Gordon on the guitar, and J.J. Guy on the fiddle, they led the students and us through some jigs and reels. As an avid violinist for most of her life, Emily was overjoyed to pick up the fiddle again and play along!

            We are enjoying the chance to relax, sleep in, and get to know some of the school staff this long weekend. We loved being invited to game night at Mel’s house with some of the other social workers in the community. In other news, we have officially mastered our signature dish, which happens to be breakfast. It has become our favourite meal anytime of the day. Also, huge shout out to Marie, one of the support workers at the school, who brought us back hummus and some produce from Yellowknife this weekend! Our hummus deficit was challenging, to say the least! We will miss her greatly as she moves to Fort Simpson in the coming weeks :(.

The weather here has been beautiful, warm, and sunny, so we are planning to make the most of our Monday off! We are hoping to get some more beading and time outside in before heading back to Spring Camp with the K-1s on Tuesday.

Catch us out in the sun along the Mackenzie,

Annelise & Emily

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