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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 Adv"ory Circle
Be’sha Blondin David Hik Stephanie Irlbacher-‐Fox
Dr. Glen Coulthard
John B. Zoe
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
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
Kyla Kakfwi Scott Program Manager (867) 445-‐1897 firstname.lastname@example.org www.dechinta.ca