land as our teacher – winter retreat 2019

This winter gathering offered Indigenous youth the opportunity to connect, learn and grow in a culturally supportive and empowering two-day land-based retreat. Heading out of the city, youth had the chance to meet Elders, artists, community leaders and other youth, while celebrating the continuum of cultural transmission, land-based teachings, creative exchange and ceremony.

Funded through a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant, led by Dr. Elizabeth Fast, Assistant Professor at Concordia University, the research seeks to understand: how are land-based teachings experienced by Indigenous youth participants; the benefits and impacts of land-based teaching for participating Indigenous youth; how land-based teachings can create and foster safe spaces for Indigenous youth looking to explore and expand their cultural knowledge, and how should land-based teachings and youth programming change to be more inclusive of Two-Spirit, LGBTQ and non-binary identifying Indigenous youth and their families.

Activities included trapping, snowshoeing, survival skills building, self-care teachings, ceremony, songs, storytelling and more.

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