Community Spotlight: God’s Lake Narrows
Learning Bird is pleased to welcome God’s Lake Narrows First Nation School as a new partner this year. Rebecca Smith, one of our Education Account Leads, recently made two trips to the community to train educators on our platform and plan the classroom resources we will create together. “Everyone was exceptionally warm and welcoming. It’s a very safe community. The innkeeper told me about how everyone knows and cares for each other,” said Rebecca.
Land-Based Resources for God’s Lake Narrows School
Mackenzie Rostad, a Learning Bird Content Creator, accompanied Rebecca on her second trip to the community to collect footage to create resources for educators and learners. Several resources we will create in collaboration with God’s Lake Narrows School centre on the land. “Some of the resources are about snaring or fishing activities. Some of them are about the ways that people lived, and others are about the community itself,” said Rebecca. She experienced a few of these activities firsthand when she went ice fishing with community member Jackie Kanabee. “Jackie was just amazing throughout. He’s very knowledgeable and a really nice man, and I appreciated him taking us out to experience ice fishing.”
Comparing Past and Present in God’s Lake Narrows
Another resource kit we’re working on focuses on comparing life in God’s Lake Narrows in the past with now. One community member, Goldie Healey, sat down for an interview with Rebecca and Mackenzie and talked about how life in the community was quite different in the past. She describes how transportation has changed. In the past, canoes were the primary mode of transport, but now most people use motorized boats. Also, a lot of time was spent outdoors, especially in the summer months. All community members would help out with getting wood or preparing food, and everyone would attend celebrations. This strong sense of community is something that has endured in God’s Lake Narrows.
Strong Community Ties
Rebecca experienced the strong community ties directly while she was in God’s Lake Narrows. Everyone came together when the power went out for a brief time at the lodge where Rebecca was staying. “We all gathered together in the main lodge because they had a wood fire and some candles and lamps. Basically, we were all going to sleep on couches near the wood stove to keep warm, but then the power came back on. It was an adventure, and I really saw how people were there for each other and willing to help out when things like this happened.”
Overall, Rebecca and Mackenzie really enjoyed their time in God’s Lake Narrows. Rebecca worked with educators one-on-one to ensure they could get the most out of our platform and the resources we’ve created with other partners. She also helped Mackenzie conduct interviews with several community members. They heard stories from the past and participated in hands-on learning experiences on the land. In the coming weeks, the Learning Bird team will use the footage and materials gathered and work with educators and community members to create custom content that will help their learners connect with what they are learning and preserve the stories of community Elders and Knowledge Keepers for future generations.