Jul 7, 2021
What a whirlwind of a year it has been at the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) Prince Albert Campus. We started the year off with hybrid learning, meaning students participated in classes through a combination of in-person and online experiences. As COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan continued to rise, the learning plan was re-evaluated, and students became full-time virtual learners. The year went by very quickly, filled with online learning and many cultural events. The online cultural events included learning about tobacco ties, smudging, bannock making, and various teachings from local Elder Liz Settee and Knowledge Keeper Michael Relland.
Recently, SUNTEP Prince Albert hosted their very first hybrid Spring Culture Camp. The camp began with a virtual opening ceremony and then continued over the afternoons of June 1 and 2. Over two days, a variety of cultural experiences and activities welcomed the participation of students.
Elder Liz Settee offered a walk with an Elder through Kristi Lake, where she identified various medicinal plants, and a trip to Prince Alberts Oasis Garden, where various ceremonial herbs and plants are growing. Nola Halabiski, SUNTEP Alumni, offered Indigenous Yoga at Little Red River Park. During this activity, students learned about the holistic nature Yoga has in relation to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis culture. They also learned about the benefits of incorporating Indigenous Yoga as educators in their future classrooms.
Leah Dorion, our very well-known and sought-after sessional instructor, introduced Ribbon Skirt Teachings to a group of online participants. She discussed how such teachings can be easily incorporated into their classrooms, which sparked an idea for the SUNTEP Culture Committee and the Student Representative Council (SRC) to host a future Ribbon Skirt/Shirt-making event.
Lastly, we had GDI’s very own Nicole DeGagne teach students the peyote stitch in beading. Students were gifted with the teaching that every bead holds a grandmother’s prayer and were all able to start their own lanyard project. The second afternoon ended with a virtual closing circle where students shared their learnings and highlights from the camp. With the excitement over the success of the virtual Cultural Events and the hybrid Cultural Camp still evident, the staff is looking forward to the September Fall Camp, where the hope is for a completely in-person event!