Program Description and Goals
Deh Gáh School’s on-the-land programming has many facets. In each of the seasons, the youngest students have up to 4 weeks of day camps near the community. Students in grades 4 and up spend the week at camps further from the community, such as Horn River in the winter, or travel by boat to multiple locations along the river in the fall and spring. High school students also have the opportunity to participate in longer trips on the land through the Keepers Program, the Willow Lake immersion camp and Experiential Science courses.
While all of the programs are designed around experiential, culture-based learning, each focuses on one or more of these goals:
- Connecting young people with positive role models including Elders and other community members who are strong in cultural knowledge and land-based skills.
- Developing a sense of respect for the land and an understanding of what it means to be stewards of the land.
- Providing a rich environment for learning and practicing the Dene Zhatié language.
- Providing meaningful contexts for academic learning, as teachers target learning goals from all subject areas as well as Dene Kede curricula.
- Providing opportunities for students to learn about the history of their region and hear stories of how their ancestors lived on this land.
- Developing skills and knowledge that empower students to feel capable and better understand their identity as young women and men in their community.
- Developing leadership skills.
- Building capacity within the community by providing opportunities for students to acquire certifications such as First Aid, Fire Arms Safety, and Paddle Canada Canoe Levels.