Bridging Culture for Learning
The community of Tobique First Nation resides on the beautiful St. John river and the Tobique River in north west New Brunswick. We are a Maliseet First Nation Community and are currently struggling to maintain our culture, identity and language as our culture is traditionally an oral one. To help combat this Tobique First Nation, with help from Elephant Thoughts, is fundraising to erect a Greenhouse dome with solar extraction fans for an outdoor classroom. The dome will include physical education classes and walking trails where plants will have plaques in English and Maliseet with relevant botany information.
There are 4 key objectives to our initiative:
1. A dome will be built beside the school and have planting beds for traditional medicines. The elders will plant these beds with the children to teach them traditional medicine, botany, and science and help them connect to their culture while learning;
2. curriculum courses will be developed around the teachings including research techniques of the history and effectiveness of different medicines, writing programs and science all targeting the grade specific study;
3. this project will connect our children to nature, both within their curriculum studies and using the trail and rope course as a resource for physical education classes; and
4. this will be a teaching tool for the non-native schools in the area to assist in breaking down barriers between the cultures and enabling a smoother transition for our First Nations children who attend the local high school.