Week 4 in Fort Prov: Bison, Bon Fires, and Beautiful Waterfalls!

The hazy sky at Spring Camp due to smoke from the forest fires in High Level, Alberta.

It has been another busy week to wrap up our first month here in Fort Providence! We started the week off with a relaxing and productive Victoria Day at home, before diving into Spring Camp with the K-1s on Tuesday. Spring Camp was full of hide and seek, hair braiding, and paper planes this week! Highlights included teaching the students Stella Ella Ola/Stella Stella Ola, which proved to be a point of contention – after some hard-hitting research Wikipedia says that while Stella Ella Ola is the version most common and prominent, Stella Stella Ola originated in Vancouver, BC. On Thursday despite the rain, Wayne showed the students and ourselves how to gut and filet a fish that was caught by the net set out on the river earlier that week. We definitely enjoyed warming up in the tent and working on some crafts with the K-1s this day while it was raining, and also indulging in some comfort food – breakfast complete with eggs, sausage, pancakes, and hash browns; hot dogs; and barbequed chicken!

Hard at work learning to fold paper planes!
Phoenix and his paper plane!
Taught the kids how to make cootie-catchers!
Silly faces!
Annelise and Karissa staying warm by the fire at Spring Camp!
Gitta, Harla, and Emily braving the rain!

         In the classroom this week, we focused on hygiene with the grade 2-3s and did our favourite handwashing activity – glitter hands – with them, which they loved! We began speaking about healthy relationships with the grade 4-5s and discussed healthy vs. unhealthy vs. abusive relationships. We introduced consent by playing a fun game of “Apples and Bananas” where students were divided into two groups and were given different sets of directions to follow. Sometimes the Apples walked towards the Bananas until the Bananas told them to stop verbally, and other times they ran! To spice things up even further, sometimes the Bananas were only allowed to use body language without their words to let the Apples know that they were invading their personal space. We all agreed that the round where everyone felt the most comfortable was when the Apples asked the Bananas for permission every step of the way! We also began to talk about puberty with the 4-5s, which we are looking forward to continue with next week! In the 6-7 class we reviewed our lessons on healthy relationships that we taught at Spring Camp last week, and also taught a lesson on consent. On Friday, we decided to have another Q&A session with the boys and girls separately as we have found this to be the most effective way to engage the 6-7 class in particular. We were able to answer lots of amazing questions about topics such as mental health, substance use and misuse, and sexuality. We can’t wait to talk about sexual health with this class next week! The high school students were on their annual Ottawa trip this week, which we are excited to hear all about next week when we hope to teach lessons on substance use and misuse and mental health!

Fun times on the playground with Kyle and some 6-7 students!

         We were both incredibly excited to have our first bison sighting on the commute to Spring Camp this Tuesday! Annelise saw a bear for the first time ever this weekend! Even though it looked really cute, we were grateful that it was through the window of a car. On the same drive, we also had a groundhog sighting which was super cool. In other wildlife related news, we learned that the birds we have been calling “giant crows” are actually ravens, lol.

         Our evenings have been spent at the Youth Centre as of late, lending a hand with supervision from 4.30 to 8.30 after school! Both of us have loved being able to spend time with our students outside of the classroom. Lots of bracelet making, drawing, video games, Snapchat filters, and slime-related-shenanigans have filled our time there!

(Accidentally) mentioned “Chubby Bunny” to Sheena and this is what happened!
Lots of selfies!
So. many. Snapchats.

         On Saturday night, we had finally recovered from our jam-packed week and were excited to watch the Raptors move on to the NBA finals all the way from Fort Prov #WeTheNorth (literally)! Many thanks to Grant and Kyle for preparing a delicious meal of hamburgers on the barbeque (Emily’s first ever entire burger, at that!). After the game, we continued the party with Grant, Kyle, Kristen, and Mel, all teachers, and a bon fire. Kyle and Emily provided the musical entertainment, with Emily on guitar and Kyle on the mandolin.

         After a lit Saturday night, we woke up bright and early in anticipation of a day trip to Lady Evelyn Falls and Kakisa with Charlene, one of the support workers at the school! We have had our fingers crossed all year that we would be able to get a ride to Kakisa to see the Falls in person, and were over the moon it was finally becoming a reality! We had a great time hiking through the gorgeous boreal forest down to the Falls, which were a site to behold. We loved getting to experience the Falls with Charlene, our favourite 2000s throwback and selfie queen, and are so appreciative that she took the time out of her weekend to take us. We will let numerous photos we took do the talking!

Selfie time with Charlene!
Stopped at the Deh Cho Bridge on the drive back from Kakisa … A true Fort Prov landmark 🙂

         Upon our return from the Falls, Annelise spent some more time outdoors as she was brought (dragged) to the Mackenzie River to watch Sharon and Kolleen jump in to the freezing waters after they came knocking on our door. Next week we are looking forward to talking about topics such as puberty, sexual health, and substance use and abuse in the classroom! We are also incredibly excited to have the opportunity to join in on the grade 4-5 boat trip over the weekend. That being said, we will be off the grid, so expect a blog post with all the details when we return Tuesday night! It will be Annelise’s first time camping, so it should definitely be an interesting experience!

Catch us chasing waterfalls,

Annelise & Emily

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