Dechinta Centre, NWT: Living off the Land

On their visit to Canada, royal couple William and Kate spent an afternoon at the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning, on Blachford Lake in the North West Territories.

It was oft-referred to in the media as a “bush university” but only described in passing. In this video, students and instructors talk about what the experience is like. They also touch on the long-term implications of keeping students in the north rather than forcing them south to study, with all its attendant problems of isolation and disconnection from culture and family, and about the importance of connecting education with the land.

“It’s a different way of teaching and learning that another school cannot do,” says Francois Paulette, the elder and instructor who also guided Will and Kate by canoe to uninhabited Eagle Island after their day at Dechinta. “So the land has become the teacher.”

“I believe that knowing your history gives you way more confidence in who you are. And then you’re able to know where you’re going,” says student Nina Larsson.

“For the future of the north to be a strong one, we need to have a really strong education base,” affirms student Moses Hernandez.

After the video below, learn more about the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning and the Native Communications Society of the Northwest Territories, which produced the video.


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