Bush University

Centre for Research and Learning



Dynamic, sustainable and self-determining communities where human capacity is rooted in indigenous knowledge and values

To support a new generation of leaders and researchers by providing accessible and practical learning and development experiences, respectful of traditional ways, in a taiga bush environment


• Is  a  single  semester  university-­‐credited  program   • Provides  a  unique  land-­‐based  learning  opportunity  for  both   northern  and  southern  university  students   • Delivers  educational  experiences  in  an  environment  that   respects  culture  and  northern  needs  

There is a recognized need to reduce the barriers between Northerners and university education
The  majority  of  Northern  graduates  do  not  pursue  postsecondary  education                        Contributing  factors:   •   Financial  cost   •   Lack  of  confidence   •   Distance  from  home   •   Lack  of  support   •   Family  obligations  

Why Dechinta ?  

•  Courses  developed  and  delivered  by  Northern  experts,  elders  and  leading   professors   •  Inclusive  programming  for  students  and  their  families   •  Cross-­‐cultural  and  inter-­‐ generational  learning   opportunities   •  Environmental  monitoring   &  field  research  training   •  Leadership  development   and  mentoring  

Dechinta Offers

Dechinta Adv"ory Circle  
Be’sha  Blondin   David  Hik   Stephanie  Irlbacher-­‐Fox  

Allice  Legat  

Dr.  Glen  Coulthard  

Ginger  Gibson  

Lois  Edge  

Joanne  Barnaby  

Joelle  Abra  

John  B.  Zoe  

Shirley  Tsetta  

Erin  Freeland     Ballantyne  

Who attends Dechinta?

•  Northern,  Southern,  and  International  students  interested  in  a  single   semester  or  full-­‐year  university  course   •  Business  and  community  leaders  seeking  to  foster  increased  awareness   and  understanding   •  Southerners  investigating  the  challenges  and  opportunities  in  Canada’s   North   •  Researchers  doing  subarctic  and  arctic  research  



Northern students & communities

•  Increased  capacity  and  skill  level  of  community   members  who  attend  the  program   •  Higher  rate  of  university  graduates   •  Increased  southern  awareness  of  Northern   issues,  values  and  culture   •  Increased  employment  and  employability   •  Ability  to  develop  relevant  curriculum  and   teaching  methods  



Southern Students & Canada
•  Quality  post-­‐secondary  education  focusing  on   northern  issues  from  a  northern  perspective   •  Increased  access  to  cultural  knowledge  and  teachings   •  Investment  in  Northern  presence  through  research   and  policy  development   •  Increased  Canadian  awareness  of  Northern   knowledge,  leaders  and  thinkers   •  Encompasses  the  North  in  a  strengthened  Canadian   pride  and  sovereignty  

•  Designed   to   give   students   a   strong   grounding   in   a   range   of   Northern   issues   and   a   deep   understanding   of  how  those  issues  are  interrelated.   •  Emphasizes  the  development  of  students’  personal,   emotional   and   spiritual   attributes   as   they   pertain   to   leadership,  community  and  vision.   •  Traditional   Knowledge   is   inherent   in   every   course,   respecting  the  invaluable  teachings  of  our  elders.   •  Pairs   each   student   with   a   mentor   for   support   throughout   the   program,   with   ongoing   guidance   after  completion.  



Dechinta Bush University  

Students,  professors  and  elders  will  create  a  self-­‐governing  community   engaged  in  hunting,  gathering  and  sustainable  living  practices,  under  the   guidance  of  our  resident  Elders.  

Dechinta Bush University  

The  community-­‐based  model  supports  a  healthy  educational  experience   for  all  participants.   Students  will  be  offered  complementary  programming  for  their  families.   Child-­‐care  and  family-­‐living  are  an  integral  aspect  of  Dechinta.  

•  Lodge   with   commercial   kitchen,   central   meeting   room,   and   a  number  of  breakout  learning  areas.   •  All-­‐season  accommodation  (lodge,  cabins  and  tent  frames).   •  Dene   tipi   and   cultural   area,   Northern   library   and   photo   collection.   •  High   speed   wireless   internet,   satellite   and   Vonage   phone   systems,  LCD  projector.   •  Sustainable  Design:  composting  toilets,  solar  energy,  battery   bank,  compost,  garden  and  green  house.   •  Helipad,   float   plane   docking,   boats,   snowmobiles,   canoes   and  kayaks.     •  Lease   at   cost   to   demonstrate   the   sustainability   of   a   permanent  community-­‐owned  program.  

The Dechinta site  

Dechinta Bush University
Dechinta  courses  are  delivered  in  a  taiga  bush  environment.

Field   Schools   boast   higher   student   success   rates,   provide   integrated   community   and   educational   experience,   and   are   noted   amongst   students  and  teachers  to  offer  life  changing  educational  experiences.  



Goals:   •  Refine  co-­‐teaching  method   •  Explore  Dechinta  site  suitability   •  Test  curriculum  content   •  Provide   feedback   on   subject   matter  and  delivery  method   •  Clarify  long-­‐term  goals  

•  Transition  from  single-­‐semester   program  to  multi-­‐level  delivery   •  Develop  research-­‐station   capacity   •  Maximize  opportunities  for   hosting  research  and  post-­‐ graduate  studies   •  Establish  independent  degree-­‐ granting  capability   •  Assume  ownership  and  control   of  program  site  


Long Term  


Current  Courses:   •  “Our  Land  Our  Life”:  Dene  Self-­‐ Determination  in  Theory  and  Practice   •  Writing:    Words    from    the    Land,     Stories    from    Within,    Voices    for       Sharing   •  First  Peoples'  Community  Health   Promotion  Program  Planning   •  Sustainable  Communities:  Indigenous   Strategies  for  Present  and  Future   Generations  

Curriculum  Development  Focus  Areas:   •  The  North  in  a  Global  Context   •  Land  Claims  and  Law   •  Self-­‐Governance   •  Language  and  Culture   •  Traditional  Nutrition   •  Boreal  Ecology  


•  Environmental  Monitoring   •  Community  Research  Methods   •  Mining   and   Exploration:   Business,   Environment  and  Regulation   •  Sustainable  Building  and  Energy  

Dechinta Next Steps
• Continued  Fundraising   • Partnership  Building   • Curriculum  Development   • Co-­‐teaching  Gatherings   • Full  Semester  with  Northern  &   Southern  Students  

The  University  of  Alberta  –   Canadian  Circumpolar  Institute  and  Faculty  of  Native  Studies   Walter  and  Duncan  Gordon  Foundation   CanNor  SINED  Program   Institute  for  Circumpolar  Health  Research     (AHRN  YK)   Indigenous  Cooperative  on  the  Environment  

Dechinta Partnerships

Dechinta Contact
Kyla  Kakfwi  Scott   Program  Manager   (867)  445-­‐1897   dechintaadmin@gmail.com   www.dechinta.ca