Schools hold programs teaching students about canoe building, fish

Students at two schools recently had the opportunity to learn about First Nations cultures as they tried their hand at canoe building or fish preparation. Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School students learned about building a birch bark canoe from Chuck Commanda, a master canoe builder and knowledge keeper from Kitigan Zibi, a First Nations reserve in Quebec. All students at the school were encouraged to be involved, and Commanda taught students how to sustainably harvest materials for the canoe, told stories, and answered questions. “I find these teachings are very important to the younger generation,” said Commanda. “We realize that maybe we are working with one of the next federal prime ministers, the next federal environmentalist, or even the next provincial minister.” Meanwhile, in the Yukon, the Yukon First Nation Education Directorate hosted a program at Jack Hulland Elementary School to teach students about fish, including their lifecycles and filleting techniques. Each class from the school had time in the camp area and participated in age-appropriate activities. Grade 8 student Anthony Johns, who learned about fish from his grandmother, shared his knowledge while demonstrating how to fillet fish.

Orillia Matters | Yukon News