TRent Aboriginal Cultural Knowledge and Science Youth Program
TRACKS (TRent Aboriginal Cultural Knowledge and Science) is an educational program that was founded in 2010. TRACKS facilitates dynamic, land-based youth programming that braids multiple scientific approaches by centring Indigenous ways of knowing and being. We are hosted by Trent University within the Indigenous Environmental Studies and Sciences Program (IESS), and operate in partnership with founding partners the Kawartha World Issues Centre and the First Peoples House of Learning.
Our Program Intentions:
1. To offer youth opportunities to actively engage with a multitude of worldviews to further understand and develop their personal skills, gifts, and tools.
2. To contribute to hands-on InSTEAM (Indigenous Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) learning opportunities from the elementary to post-secondary level.
3. To facilitate spaces where intergenerational knowledge can be shared and mentoring relationships can be nurtured.
4. To provide spaces where youth can be empowered to build relationships, learn together, and grow as leaders while honouring their diverse identities and backgrounds.
5. To encourage youth to deepen reciprocal relationships within their environments and embody understandings of their responsibilities to the land.
6. To collaborate with Indigenous Peoples, school boards and community organizations to strengthen relationships and activate culturally responsive learning opportunities.
7. To foster meaningful employment and volunteer experiences for young people interested in land-centric InSTEAM work.
Our Steering Team, who provide direction and experience for the TRACKS program, includes Dr. Dan Longboat/Roronhiakewen – Founding Director of the Indigenous Environmental Studies and Sciences Program, Dr. Chris Furgal – Professor in the Indigenous Environmental Studies and Sciences Program, Sam Rockbrune – Executive Director of Kawartha World Issues Centre and James Miller – Indigenous Enrolment Advisor at First Peoples House of Learning.
TRACKS consists of two distinct but connected programs: TRACKS Education and TRACKS Oshkwazin.
TRACKS Education runs a wide variety of educational programs throughout the calendar year for Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth ages 6-12. Outreach activities, in-school workshops, and PA-day camps make up our school-year programming schedule. TRACKS Education also develops curriculum to share with other organizations, offering take-home resources and training opportunities for teachers and educators. Throughout the summer, TRACKS Education continues with activities and workshops, while also providing week-long summer day camps. All of our programming is fun, hands-on, experiential, and braids multiple worldviews and scientific principles.
TRACKS Oshkwazin is a leadership program for Indigenous youth ages 14-18, providing them with valuable training and leadership development opportunities. The name Oshkwazin was gifted to the program and is an Anishinaabemowin word meaning “to light your internal fire”. The Oshkwazin program aims to help Indigenous youth connect to and deepen their relationship to their own fire. Examples of programming include school lunch socials, land camps, workshops, March Break programs, and the Oshkwazin Summer Youth Ambassador Program – an 8-week leadership development program offering meaningful InSTEAM employment to Indigenous youth.
Throughout the year, we often welcome Indigenous Elders or knowledge holders, scientists, and other community members as guests to our programming. We believe it’s important for youth to have opportunities to learn about the exciting work, experiences, and knowledges carried by those in our community. This also creates valuable opportunities for youth participating in our programs to build intergenerational relationships and learn from multiple perspectives. We are always looking for more people to get involved and would love to have you on board. If you are a scientist, a traditional knowledge holder, or want to share any other skills you have with youth, get in touch!
Also, consider following us on social media or signing up for our mailing list! Here you can get an idea of the programming we run and how you can fit into it.
TRACKS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tracksyouthprogram/
TRACKS Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tracksprogram/
Subscribe to the TRACKS Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/gbO-lv
Miigwech! Nia;wen! Thank you!