Learning Story – Building Relationship with Ourselves, Each Other and the Land

Week of September 13, 2022

What Happened? 

Bushkid “Why do you do Bushkids so much? Why did you start it?” 

Educator “Why do you think we do it?” 

Bushkid “Because it makes the kids so happy?” 

We offered tobacco and fireweed to the fire in the morning to start our day in a good way. We made tree cookies as name tags but the Bushkids decorated and coloured them to self identify and didn’t necessarily choose to write their name! We reviewed how to be safe at Bushkids. Animal Muk was a very popular game. The youth volunteers Kaize and Penny brought the Bushkids on a little tour to the lake and then to Ferry Fortress. We loaded so much wood from the wood pile at the site. The Bushkids made 3 batches of bannock and cleaned and prepared a char gifted to us by Russell Mercredi (thank you Russell)! Three different forts were built with plans to add tarps to them next week. A beautiful rock was dug up by “Team Unicorn” and the Bushkids thought it might be a meteor, lava, a fossil or an old fire pit stone.

Why was that important? 

The learning skill we focused on today was building relationship. We explored how to build relationship with ourselves, each other and the Land. Putting tobacco and fireweed in the fire is so important for us to do everyday – we focused on reciprocity (giving back to the Land and not just taking from the Land) and connecting to our ancestors. We played a traditional game called Animal Muk – the purpose of this game is purely social and to have fun. We feel it’s important to provide opportunities to enjoy ourselves ALL together so that we can feel connected and in community. The weather offered a perfect day for construction play – many forts were built and were so much heavy lifting happened. We have learned how helpful “heavy lifting” can be for a child to feel grounded and regulated throughout the day.

What will we do next? 

We will continue to focus on building relationship with the Land, ourselves and each other at Bushkids in every session. We anticipate we will have lots of food from the Land next week and will focus on the animal, where it comes from, what is it doing at this time of year and its holistic significance to the peoples here. We plan to play more traditional Dene and Inuit games and to explain the intention of the game as well as promoting our sense of community and how important it is to have fun together. Tarps and rope will also be offered to continue supporting construction play!