Written by Matthew Hillier Wednesday, May 11 2022, 12:24 PM
The Grade 5 and 6 class at Carseland School have received the Wheatland County Youth Stewardship Award. This award is given to classes that recognize the importance of engaging in environmentally beneficial initiatives.
The award was given to the students at Carseland School for their involvement in the school’s partnership with Wyndham-Carseland Provincial Park.
The Ik ka Nutsi Park Program, as its also known, was started in the 2019-2020 school year by Mrs. Claire Wade who attends every outing and who developed the program as a means of intertwining environmental stewardship and indigenous teachings.
At the park, students receive practical lessons on the environment and their role in maintaining it. They also learn unique cultural perspectives on environmental stewardship and indigenous teachings.
Students who visit the park learn these lessons from Elder Darrell Breaker and cultural liaison Shirley Spotted Eagle from Siksika Nation. All in an outdoor classroom that connects them to these unique teachings.
Principal of Carseland school LaToya Bartlett explains how students bring these experiences back to the classroom.
“When they go down, they learn the culture and the language, and they bring it into practice with other curricular outcomes in the classroom. It could be through language arts or through their science. For example, in our school right now, they did a unit on trees, and in going down to the park got really hands-on authentic learning. Elder Darrell Breaker was able to tell them stories of the trees and of the land and it just puts it all into perspective.”
The students couldn’t be more excited to be winning this award and their proud principal can’t help but gush about her award-winning students.
“I’m so proud of this program I absolutely love it. It’s been in place since 2019, so we’ve had it for a few years and even when COVID hit, we were able to do parts of that program because it’s in this outside setting. So, it just takes this authentic learning that you just cannot get in the classroom.”
Hopefully, this is the first of many sustainability awards the students at Carseland School win. Regardless of how many awards dot the shelves thanks to the Wyndham- Carseland Provincial Park partnership. It will continue to educate and benefit students interested in other cultures and our environment.