Experiential Learning Initiative
The Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI) facilitates opportunities for community members, teachers, youth and stakeholders to engage in learning that champions the vision of "walking in two worlds".
This vision recognizes the importance of integrating Aboriginal culture, language, values and traditions into the educational experience within the current living and learning environment. The program develops strategies that improve community engagement, youth participation and engagement in learning performance and overall well-being. Within Fort Chipewyan and Janvier, ELI programming is developed and executed in collaboration with schools, community organizations, the SCI working group and other partner organizations. Activities include land-based experiences and weaving Alberta learner outcomes into lesson plans. Opportunities to share and learn from partners are emphasized to support emerging best practices in communities creating their own standards for land-based learning.
Experiential Learning had great momentum and success within communities in the past year. Some of the highlights included the signing of A Memorandum of Understanding between the Yukon Department of Education First Nations Programs and Partnerships, Northland School Division and Sustainable Communities Initiative. The agreement is designed to assist in the realization of a unique collaboration opportunity and the coordination of knowledge sharing on design and implementation initiatives in the areas of Experiential Learning and Land Based Learning. Other highlights included a Moose Camp at Winefred Lake with Dene High, the creation of an Experiential Learning Community Liaison position in Janvier and ELI actively involved in the process and next steps of Elder Charlie Voyageur donating the use of his tap line to Athabasca Delta Community school.
In 2014, ELI created a three-year plan to focus on the following goals:
- Communities creating their own standards for "community land based learning."
- Developing mentorship partners that support community experiences so youth can embrace 'walking in two worlds.'
- Expanding and fostering relationships and partnerships between Elders, youth, community, government, industry, educators and partners
- Executing seasonal cultural camps with community that weave 'walk in two worlds' curriculum in the current living and learning environment