After a successful pilot program offered to nearly 4000 people, the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN), in partnership with forty organizations, has opened early bird registration for a new year-long learning opportunity starting this fall.
This will bring together ten Indigenous presenters who will share knowledge and encourage learners to deepen their understanding of Indigenous culture, history, knowledge and perspectives. Local Indigenous presenters include Sophie Pierre, Bonnie Harvey, Dr. Christopher Horsethief, Smokii Sumac, and Nasuʔkin (Chief) Joe Pierre. From further afield, well-known Indigenous speakers include Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer, Dr. Niigaan Sinclair, Kevin Lamoureux, Doug Anderson and Ariana Roundpoint.
Jenna Jasek, co-founder of this initiative, and VP for Indigenous Learning and Equity for Rocky Mountain School District No. 6, shared that “Hearing Indigenous People’s voices and personal experiences is hugely impactful and validates the urgency of Truth and Reconciliation and putting the 94 Calls of Action, into action.”
These monthly virtual presentations will be grounded in self-paced learning modules. For those just starting out, Season 1: Foundations of Learning focuses on topics such as colonialism, racism, residential schools, reconciliation, and restitution. For those who have already taken this pilot program, Season 2: Learning from the Land will be made available to deepen this learning.
In addition to learning modules and virtual presentations, both seasons will offer additional resources, learning extensions and access to a community of learners from across the Columbia Basin, and beyond.
This initiative is offered as acknowledgement that to authentically undertake a personal learning journey towards Truth and Reconciliation, it takes more than just a day or month each year, but should be ongoing.