The Schools Program team was in Wasauksing First Nation a few weeks ago, working with students from Wasauksing Kinomaugewgamik. The school runs a Water Week each spring to close out a year spent learning about the water. Coordinating alongside school staff members Melanie Dolson (Grade 3/4 teacher) and Deina Bomberry (Language/Cultural teacher and Local Water Walker), Water First was invited to run programming during this week-long event.
“As a school (we) like to call ourselves water protectors,” said Bomberry, the school tries to highlight water protection all year round and not only in March, which is considered Water Action Month. “It’s our way of life. It’s part of who we are as First Nation peoples.”
Our ‘What’s in Your Water’ program had students exploring Wasauksing First Nation’s connection with their watershed, learning about spawning shoals and invasive species, going on field trips to the Aqua-Cage Fisheries (fish farm), and collecting and analyzing water monitoring samples.
Isaiah Tabobondung (a previous student of Wasauksing Kinomaugewgamik and current Water First Drinking Water Intern) visited and shared with the students about his experiences and current work. He also brought in some tools to demonstrate water testing.
We were honoured to participate in the community’s 10th Water Walk, community feast, and art exhibit run by Bomberry. A school Eagle Staff was created by incorporating the youths’ ideas as a symbol of the community, which was presented through a ceremony of drum and song, and concluded with passing the Staff to the oldest and youngest students in the community. The event was even featured in the local newspaper. So fun!