Discussions by four Cree Elders; George Brertton, Fred Campiou, Isaac Chamakese and William Dreaver, give insight into the differences between Canadian law and Cree Natural Law and why Natural Law is needed in contemporary society. Wahkohtowin means "everything is related." It is one of the basic principles of Cree Natural Law passed through language, song, prayer, and storytelling. The Elders explain that by following the teachings of Wahkohtowin individuals, communities and societies are healthier.
In 2017, Edmonton Public Schools and Edmonton Catholic Schools partnered with Frontier College to promote more students’ opportunities and achievements through Summer Literacy Camps. The camps use a daily curriculum of literacy-embedded activities to reduce summer learning loss and support children’s ability, enjoyment, and confidence as readers. This summer’s camps at Brightview and Montrose schools reached 38 children.
Beyond the benefits to campers, Summer Literacy Camps make a wider impact on communities by:
Campers spend time reading every day and bring books home to keep. This year, each camp received approximately 180 books. In total, campers in Edmonton received 360 books to build their home libraries.
Elders and community members lead Indigenous language and culture sessions, field trips, and other activities. Parents and family members support their children’s learning by visiting camp—to read a book, play a game, or just observe. Their presence sends a positive message to campers about the value of learning and education.
Local staff receive training and increase their leadership skills and literacy knowledge as camp counsellors. This year, five counsellors in Edmonton received intensive Summer Literacy Camp training.
- 83% of campers said that camp made them more excited about school
- 89% of parents said their children read more at home after attending camp
- Camps increased students’ academic readiness, according to 85% of teachers surveyed nationally