On October 21st, TRU Adventure Programming students, Ella Roles and Monica Dufresne, lead a group of youth from the White Buffalo Aboriginal and Metis Health Society up to Isobel Lake, in the Lac du Bois Grasslands Protected Area, for a day filled with paddling, fishing, bonfires, drumming, storytelling and snow(person) building.
Pate Neumann, a Master’s of Environmental Science graduate student, and Courtney Mason, Associate Professor, went along to assist Ella and Monica with the days activities. They were also supported by three White Buffalo staff members and two volunteers from Secwepemc Fisheries. The day began with a “learn to paddle” session on the lake followed by a delicious lunch. In the afternoon there was a “learn to fish session” which was supported by Secwepemc Fisheries staff who spoke about traditional First Nations fishing methods and tools. This was followed by some singing, drumming, storytelling and brief Secwepemc history lessons. Everyone bundled up and headed back onto the water to try their hand at fly fishing and spin casting. By this point, the snow had begun to fall, creating some spectacularly calm and scenic paddling on the lake.
After some significant fishing effort, the group came back in to warm up by the fire and then packed up to return to town. It was quite a fun day, filled with lots of learning and some new experiences for all. It was nice to see TRU students, learning, playing and interacting along side local Indigenous youth. There is no better way to get to know people in your community then to bundle up and spend a day on the water with them!
We are looking forward to the next opportunity to get out with White Buffalo and local Indigenous youth to spend more time learning from each other in the beautiful natural environment that surrounds Kamloops.