RCCC Partners with Peruvians to Build GreenhousesFeb 18th, 2015 | By mweaselfat | Category: 26-3: Global Indigenous Higher Education, Tribal College News
Building greenhouses to grow vegetables was the mission behind a joint international program between Red Crow Community College (RCCC) in Alberta, Canada and the country of Peru. The project, entitled “Food Security for Schools and their Communities,” brought Indigenous peoples from North and South America together to work towards a common goal.
“It was a request from the Food Security Project in Peru to Canada to see if there was anyone interested in doing a greenhouse project,” says Henry Big Throat, vice president of student services at RCCC. “Lethbridge College contacted RCCC to see if we were interested in doing such a project with them.” Big Throat approved the exchange and joined two students from the Blood Tribe, Darcy Weasel Head and Constance Day Chief, on a trip to Peru.
The crew from Canada spent three weeks in a Peruvian village located about 50 miles from Kolako City. “We built two greenhouses in the community which they are still using today,” says Big Throat. “It was such an awesome experience— a once in a lifetime experience to be in another cultural setting which has deep roots in Inca history.” If given the chance, the vice president of student services says he wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.
RCCC is no stranger to such international exchanges and programming. Four years ago, Big Throat and several students travelled to South Africa to build latrines for an Indigenous community lacking such infrastructure. And seven years ago, RCCC sent Big Throat and others to Guatemala in Central America for an exchange trip there. Such international experiences give tribal college students, faculty, and administrators a more profound sense of global awareness and help forge friendships with peoples from different cultural backgrounds.