Faculty of Education alumnus Joey Miller (BEd 2015, MEd 2017), a wilderness guide and outdoor education teacher of the Matawa Learning Centre, is featured in a Canadian Geographic Magazine article about his experiences leading Indigenous youth on a 130-kilometre canoe route through Winisk River, paddling from Nibinamik to Webequie.
The 11-day summer canoe trip was a pilot Grade 12 experiential education course teaching the youth about water safety and leadership, while connecting them with their traditional lands.
"It is about giving students a new and fun way to earn high school credits while teaching them useful skills they can use around their home communities which are all on major rivers or lakes,” explains Joey, an experienced paddling instructor who conceived of the course.
“It’s also a chance for me to learn from them. This is their land. They’re connected to it in ways I could never be. Two of the students told me their grandparents used to paddle this route. It’s an honour to be out here on their land with them."
Eleven students and four guides (Joey Miller, Jody Mitchell, Thomas Hall, and Marten Falls First Nation Band Councillor Alex Aggamaway) completed the journey, which was funded by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.
During their trip, the group traversed different classes of rapids, portaged when necessary, and experienced backcountry camping. The students earned certifications in basic white water rescue and canoeing while earning a high school credit and developing leadership skills.
The article is available here: This Canoe Expedition Program Provides School Credit to Indigenous Youth.