Parks Canada's Honourary Guide for Families Sophie Gregoire Trudeau has announced that the grade five, six and seven class from Khàtìnas.àxhCommunity School in Teslin have won this years Canada's Coolest School Trip contest.
Parks Canada's Honorary Guide for Families Sophie Gregoire Trudeau has announced that the grade five, six and seven class from Khàtìnas.àxh Community School in Teslin have won this year’s Canada's Coolest School Trip Contest.
The contests asked participants to submit a photo essay about an environmental stewardship activity that has helped advance a communities local history and culture.
Grade 5, 6 7 Khàtìnas.àxh School Teacher Erika Keenan says the idea for the submission started when they realized their Tlingit website matched the guidelines for the contest well.
"We had seen the contest where you could win a trip to Manitoba if you had done some sort of stewardship project, working on either a Parks Canada historic site or a Parks Canada mandate. One of their mandate's was how to be partners with your local Aboriginal Culture. We decided that our website fit the ticket and we entered the contest. "
Keenan says the website encompasses a variety of Tlingit language and cultural initiatives.
"It was based off the local Tlingit culture and we put information on there about the Tlingit people, we did translations of different words, and students participated in a button blanket activity. We put (the material) up on the website so people could see what we were doing. We were just trying to raise awareness about our local culture."
Keenan says her students have now won an all-paid vacation to Manitoba to discover Parks Canada's Lower Fort Garry Historic Site.
"It's a five-day, all expenses paid trip to Manitoba and the kids learn about Canada's history. They do a lot of experiential learning like going to historic sites, national parks and museums."
Canada’s Coolest School Trip is run by Parks Canada in collaboration with other societies, and classes of up to 35 students are allowed to compete in the annual contest each fall before a panel of judges select the winning prize in March.
One notable runner-up includes students of Indian Head High School in Saskatchewan, with their submission explaining how sharing and telling stories allows First Nations members to become knowledge keepers.
Anyone interested in the Khàtìnas.àxh school project can visit the Teslin Tlingit Language website.