Ozhaawashkwaa Animikii-Bineshi Aki Onji Kinimaagae' Inun, Blue Thunderbird Land-based Teachings Learning Centre, is a school division-wide initiative delivering land-based, cross-curricular educational opportunities as a part of Kindergarten to Grade 12 experience. This is a place for students to create sustainable and meaningful connections to the land, each other, and to enrich learning through hands-on experiences.
Educational themes and topics are informed and guided by Education for Sustainable Development, Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the Earth Charter. Engagements include and expand upon four core themes: growing food and nutrition, land stewardship, cultural and historic connection to the land, and well-becoming.
Growing Food and Nutrition: From seed, to soil, to table. Mixed vegetable and herb gardens, Indigenous plant gardens, and cover crops are classrooms for experiencing how the land sustains all life.
Environmental Stewardship: Less than 1% of the original tall grass prairie remains in Manitoba. Students will experience the management, conservation, and surveying of the remnant tall grass prairie on-site in addition to the long term process of restorating Indigenous tall grass prairie to 30 acres.
Divisional-Composting via the BIOVator, an in-vessel commercial composting unit, is located near the Aki Centre, connecting students to our school-wide organic waste diversion initiative and the art and science of composting.
The Naturalized Stormwater Retention Pond collects and filters our on-site water before it discharges into the Grassmere Creek Drain, and into the Red River.
4-acres of cover crops grow near the tree nursery to regenerate soils for future garden expansions.
Connecting to land, language and culture. We continue to deepen our awareness and understanding of the historical and cultural connection between people and land, sharing Indigenous worldviews on the growing of food, Medicine Wheel Teachings, Seven Sacred Teachings and the value of learning through the sacredness of the Indigenous Circle Philosophy. We explore the connections we have to the land and dedicate ourselves to reshaping our connections to the land and to each other in a spirit of stewardship, reconciliation and celebration.
Well-becoming: Space for discovery. Opportunities for experiencing spiritual, physical, emotional and mental well-becoming.