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Transboundary learning at the 2019 Study Canada Summer Institute

Tribal Canoe Journey 2019. Photo credit: Kyla Sweet.

August 22, 2019

By Kyla Sweet, education and curriculum K–12 specialist for the Pacific Northwest National Resource Center on Canada

This July, twenty educators from across the United States met in Bellingham, WA for the Study Canada Summer Institute 2019 to experience transboundary learning along the Tribal Canoe Journey, which this year was hosted by the Lummi Nation. On July 23 and 24th, the educators were welcomed to the Lummi Nation to hear from tribal educators, members and about connecting with Washington state’s “Since Time Immemorial” curriculum and issues important to Indigenous people and students. They were also invited to the shores of Lummi to watch the Tribal Canoe families land and be welcomed. There were over 100 canoes overall and it was an incredibly joyful and powerful day. The educators then took their own water journey, traveling through the traditional highways of the canoe people from Anacortes to Sidney, B.C.—but on a ferry—to learn more about Canadian curriculum and Indigenous education in Victoria, B.C. They ate at the British Columbia Legislature, got a special tour of the Indigenous exhibitions of the Royal B.C. Museum and spent time learning from University of Victoria Education professor and a B.C. teacher about their new approaches in the wake of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action. Educators went home with new resources to assist in teaching Indigenous history and culture more respectfully and accurately in their school, and with an appreciation and eagerness for the work that Canada is doing and what more needs still to be done. We look forward to seeing what new doors are opened as a result of SCSI 2019.