Keweenaw Camp Anishinaabe Focused

Nov 15th, 2006 | By | Category: 18-2: Traditional Wisdom Our Strength, Tribal College News

Many students explored traditional wisdom about healthy lifestyles at Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College’s (KBOCC, Baraga, MI) Summer Science Day Camp. They listened to stories, made crafts, played traditional games, and sampled indigenous foods, while focusing on the central Anishinaabe concept of living in balance and harmony.

The students also formed hypotheses, conducted experiments, made observations, and generally acted like scientists. They discovered for themselves how balancing food, activity, water, and rest can maintain good health.

The rare blend of traditional wisdom and modern science came from the “Health is Life in Balance” curriculum materials being developed by the Diabetes Education in Tribal Schools (DETS) project funded by the National Institues of Health in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and the Indian Health Service.

Together with seven other tribal colleges in the DETS group, KBOCC is developing science curriculum materials, based on a diabetes model, for use in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The camp involved elementary, high school, and college level students. Approximately 70 elementary students got an early preview of the materials along with outdoor activities, healthy snacks, and field trips to the local fish hatchery, waterfalls, and Lake Superior lagoons.

Older students developed mentoring and leadership skills; college students polished their teaching skills as teacher aides; and high school students who served as junior aides experienced a taste of teaching.

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