More than we expected in the beautiful Kootenays!

by ementoring ~ June 7th, 2011. Filed under: Home.


We had a chance to visit the beautiful Kootenays on May 22-25.  Overall, a really productive trip! Went into it thinking we weren’t organized enough and hadn’t planned enough meetings.  But as it turned out we got more accomplished than we imagined.  The main purpose of our trip was to meet with members of Akisq’nuk First Nation near Invermere, BC.  Akisq’nuk is one of four communities within the Ktunaxa (teh-NUH-hah) Nation within Canada.  Their traditional territory extends down into the States. Akisq’nuk Chief and council were very supportive and agreed to go forward with the program.  That same day, we held a community info session and had a pretty good turnout: about 20 parents, kids, and community members in total.  We asked the kids what their least favourite and most favourite subject was in school and who was their role model.  For many kids we had to explain what “role model” meant, which made us think we should change the questions to “who do you look up to?”

The next day had lots of surprises.  At first we thought we’d have a lot of time to kill before our flight in the evening as we only scheduled two meetings.  One of these meetings was with a wonderful Aboriginal Support Workers at David Thompson Secondary School in Invermere.  She was very excited about the program and suggested her students be able to take it for credit.  She had some good suggestions too, such as making a virtual café for mentees to talk to each other and identifying which students would really need an Aboriginal mentor versus those that would be ok with a non-Aboriginal mentor.

After that we drove to Cranbrook to wait for our flight.  Little did we know that we’d be chatting in Aq’am (St. Mary’s Band in Cranbrook) for most of the day and getting the Aq’am Education Director on board too.  It all started with a drop-in visit to Nigel (our co-worker on another project).  We were reminiscing about the music workshop we planned a few years ago and he asked us to follow him to the basement of the band office, where he gave us a copy of a totally AWESOME CD called “Ktunaxa Pop” – a collection of techno kids songs sung in in Ktunaxa that they’ve been using in the daycare.  Anyways, I digress, but digression is how we got things done this trip!  That’s when we met the education director who we chatted with about first the CD, then eMentoring.  Next thing we know, she’s inviting us into her office and figuring out how to bring eMentoring to their school.  Couldn’t have planned that!

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