Fort Chipewyan youth to ‘walk in two worlds’ at upcoming gathering

Fort Chipewyan youth to ‘walk in two worlds’ at upcoming gathering
Youth from Fort Chipewyan and Janvier gather in 2014 for an experiential learning camp out on the land. The 2015 gathering is happening next week in Fort Chipewyan.Photo courtesy of Lake Athabasca Youth Council.

Contemporary technology will mix with traditional skills at a gathering for youth in Fort Chipewyan next week.

The second annual Experiential Learning Gathering takes place Aug. 23-26 on the Doghead reserve in Fort Chipewyan, where local youth and young people from the nearby community of Janvier will take part in a mix of activities meant to give them a variety of hands-on training.

Camping out along the shores of Lake Athabasca, the youth will get training in everything from drum making and dry fish making to radio and video production.

“It’s to celebrate walking in two worlds,” said organizer Tina Fraser, who coordinates the Lake Athabasca Youth Council (LAYC), a youth network in Fort Chipewyan. “It’s about learning by doing.”

This is the second year of the gathering. The inaugural event was held last year in Janvier, hosted by their community’s youth organization, Sekweha. LAYC youth were invited to attend, and are returning the favour this year.

Participants will take plant hikes, do beading, get active with self defence and hand games, learn Cree and Dene, and receive traditional teachings on the medicine wheel. A special session will also be led by local drum maker Edward Marten on healing through art and music.

Individuals wishing to register can contact eligathering@gmail.com. Registration is free, but participants are required to fund their own travel to Fort Chipewyan.

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