What a season it has been with our summer TRACKS staff! I am so delighted to have met and work with these 8 wonderful people this summer. It has been a gift to be able to share space and ideas with them over the last two months.
The Education team this season was made up of Scott Somerville, Alex Roper and Alan Cundall. Through their invested teamwork and collaboration they were able to create new games, activities and methods of teaching that greatly enriched our summer camp program. It’s been a whirlwind of a time with a total of 20 days of programming throughout July and most of August but they each took the work in stride while continuing to showcase their commitment to the programming through the entirety of the season. Amongst these busy times we also carved out space to gather and reflect on ways that we could make our program even better and with each of these debriefing sessions the team was able to grow together in new and impressive ways. The methods of how each of them engaged with and taught Indigenous science was an inspiration to me and I am so grateful for all of the hard work they put in during their time with TRACKS this summer.
Our high-school aged staff came to us from the Focus on Youth program this summer. Cheyenne Hough and Randi Harness showcased such growth in their own learning and respect for Indigenous teachings. They both undertook leadership roles when it came to TRACKS programming and exemplified an amazing ability to connect with campers of all ages. They contributed a very special perspective to our work at TRACKS and our summer would not have been the same without them! Having split their time between the Education and Oshkwazin teams, they were able to see how both sides of TRACKS operates and they contributed important ideas and reflections to all of our work. I’m extremely proud of the time they’ve shared with TRACKS this summer and hope to see them involved into the future!
This summer, the Oshkwazin team put their energy and passion into laying the groundwork for the youth leadership program to hit the ground running this fall. Amber Pitawanakwat, Jasmine Panacheese and Callum Faulds engaged in many brainstorming sessions to ensure that the Oshkwazin program for high school aged Indigenous youth will be inspiring, culturally rich and active in the greater Nogojiwanong community. This program will engage with knowledge holders, traditional teachings and team-building activities thanks to the research and outreach done by the three of them this summer. Their passion and motivation for this work has been clear throughout their time with TRACKS and the Oshkwazin program is bound for an amazing school year to come thanks to them.
Chii Miigwetch to all of our staff for making this an amazing season!