Land-based education and food forest at Muskeg Lake Cree Nation a success

November 14, 2018

Muskeg Lake Cree Nation has built a new land-based education centre named the kihiw waciston school, which is Cree for “eagle’s nest.” The construction of the open concept cabin-style building is nearly completed, but the school has already begun offering land-based activities, according to Principal Jack Rayne. “The kind of reactions that we get from our students is priceless,” said Rayne. “[Our students] learn in different ways and one of the biggest ways is the hands on, having them learn hands on by going out to the land and actually getting their hands dirty.” The building provides students with a place to process rabbits, skin moose, and prepare hides. The school offers classes in picking and tying sage, picking and braiding sweet-grass, preparing different types of meat, and preparing traditional foods for feasts. The nation also recently planted a food forest that saw local children help to plant cherry and apple trees. “[The kids] were really excited… they really got into it and you could tell they were digging right in,” said Canadian Feed the Children community program coordinator Glenna Cayen. “We had elders there as well, so [we're] really grateful that they participated.” CBC