“Supporting and Mentoring Northern Students for Success and Leadership”
2016 – 2018
The initial intention of this grant was to support and mentor northern students for success and leadership, specifically through engagement with the land-based post-secondary opportunities with Dechinta Bush University. During this life cycle of this grant, Dechinta was able to expand our on-the-ground presence across the NWT and Yukon. Over 11,000 kilometres were travelled to support four community tours, 24 community visits and ten community events held in conjunction with our Rivers semesters, enabling Dechinta to reach, by canoe, communities that are not accessible by car or winter road. By increasing community presence and communications, Dechinta delivered materials and reached community leaders as well as future Dechinta students through the K to12 schools. Dechinta also collaborated with the University of British Columbia to offer a program for UBC students to come from Vancouver for a program with northern students.
A key insight from this work:
We continued to learn the lesson that students in remote communities need a lot of one-on-one coaching and support to have the confidence to even apply for post-secondary. Having a low- pressure environment, tea and storytelling, and lots of casual space for interactions- at community games and feasts meant that many people would approach our outreach team in conversations, or ask questions in a non-formal setting. We found that having an ongoing presence, i.e. returning to remote communities twice + a year meant that we built ongoing relationships with community youth, leadership and staff and that being present was very important to their trust in us.
Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning is a northern-led initiative delivering land-based, university credited educational experiences led by northern leaders, experts, elders and professors to engage northern and southern youth in a transformative curricula based on the cutting-edge needs of Canada’s North.