Ozhaawashkwaa Animikii-Bineshi Aki Onji Kinimaagae' Inun
Blue Thunderbird Land-based Teachings Learning Centre
Planning your Day: What Teachers need to know
Ozhaawashkwaa Animikii-Bineshi Aki Onji Kinimaagae' Inun is your 49-acre classroom, surrounded by natural and agricultural grounds for classroom extensions to land-based and experiential learning, sharing perspectives around:
- Historic and cultural connections to the land
- Land stewardship, how we care for the land
- Growing food
- Wellness and well-becoming
This space provides teachers and learners with land-based and hands-on learning experiences that enrich the curriculum, and meet our physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
- Aki Centre, or "Land Centre", our shortened version of our given name. A indoor gathering space with fireplace, washrooms and an equipped learning kitchen
- Service Centre (Maintenance and Transportation departments) with Conference Rooms and CVE Building Trades classroom3 km of walking trails
- 3 km of walking trails
- Tipi and Sweat Lodge
- Wawiyia'kiti'gahn (Circle Garden), a Medicine Wheel shaped aligned with the four directions. Two quadrants grow sacred medicines, Sage and Sweetgrass, and two grow Indigenous Plants of our Indigenous Grassland. Seven benches with the Seven Sacred Teachings form an inner circle, and the outer circle of 13 boulders represent the 13 moons in our lunar calendar.
- Fireside gathering areas (3)
- 67' x 23' Passive Solar Greenhouse
- Divisional composting with the Novi-Comp
- Indigenous Plant Gardens
- Vegetable and Herb Gardens
- 4-acres of Cover Crop
- Naturalized Retention Pond
- Tree Nursery
- Toboggan Hill
- 30 acres of Tall Grass Prairie Restoration, in progress
- Conservation of a 5-acre remnant Tall Grass Prairie
Booking the Aki Centre
Visit the Staff Portal and click on Instruction > Aki Centre > Booking (left-hand menu), or click Here is a direct link to the booking page.
Here you will view the calendar, select a date, and submit your booking request form.
If you require help planning your day/itinerary, please mention this in the "Additional Comments" space and/or please follow up with a phone call to 204-338-7991 ext 50020.
Booking a Bus
Please book your bus at the same time as booking the Aki Centre.
There is no cost for your class to attend the Aki Centre.
How to prepare
What do I need to know about booking during the Covid-19 pandemic? Aki Centre Covid Guidelines
What do I need to bring? View the Supplies List
Where am I going? Map or Self Guided Map
How have other teachers designed their days? Sample Itineraries. We can support you in developing and designing experiences with and for your students. Please contact us to set up a time to collaborate, to review sample itineraries, and to learn about the current highlights (phenology) on the land.
Covid, Covid, Covid...Aki Centre Seating Chart for contact tracing.
Planning your Day
Teachers are encouraged to plan their itinerary and identify their purpose(s) for visiting. Aki Centre staff are able to support your first visit and parts of your subsequent visits, when requested in advance. Due to our responsibilities to the stewardship of the land, our availability may be limited at times. We encourage multiple visits over the school year to build a relationship between yourselves and the land, and to build upon your inquiries. What you can expect from Aki Centre Staff (if requested):
- An Orientation Package (Supplies List, Map)
- An orientation or tour of 15-45 minutes on or before your first visit
- Assistance creating or reviewing an itinerary
- Interpretation of features on the landscape and stewardship actions
- Support creating connections between curriculum and hands-on, land-based experiences
- Engagement invitations that are supported by and connected to this environment
- Pre and post visit resources (videos, articles, apps, community partners)
- Facilitation or co-facilitation of an activity, if requested
- Supplies list (so you don’t bring more than you need)
What to Bring
- Review your supply needs with Aki Centre staff before your visit, or check the list online here. We strive to stock commonly used supplies and equipment for your use.
- Dress for the weather! Our environment is open and exposed. In winter, it is always windier and a few degrees colder here than it will be at your school. In summer, expect to feel the wind and strong sun, and know that there is limited shade. Come prepared by bringing a few extra items to be comfortable outdoors all day.
- Other items to remember might include: extra socks/mitts (will you get wet or cold?), sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat/toque, a water bottle, snacks, lunch, journal, a way to take photos or videos.
Tip from the locals: It is often very windy here! Even if it doesn't feel windy at school, prepare for MORE wind out here! It's a wide open space!
Waste Management - ZERO WASTE ZONE
Our kitchen has everything you will need: mugs, glasses, plates, cutlery, cooking and baking equipment, etc. Please do not bring disposable products.
Contributing to Cleaning Up
Hands-on learning invites a mess and in the Aki Centre we are prepared for that! We ask for you to be mindful and helpful, please work respectfully and clean up your own messes once you are done. *NOTE: if you are booking the Service Centre, this is a mess-free zone. This is a meeting room facility with carpet and a tight booking schedule. Remove dirty shoes, and stay in the room that was booked for you to reduce disruption to the rest of the workplace.
- Please leave the Centre and the land as you found it. You should allow your group 15-20 minutes at the end of your day for time for clean-up.
- We have labeled buckets for table washing (with cloths and soap). We have brooms and dust pans.
We share the site with Seven Oaks transportation and maintenance departments. There are many vehicles coming and going.
- We require teachers to walk with students across the parking lot and to supervise students.
- Keep your group within sight.
- First Aid kits and AED are in the Aki Centre main entrance mud room.
We encourage teachers to personally visit our site before your first field trip. Please contact us to arrange a personal or PD tour. Please see our Instagram page for up to date images of weekly activities, changes on the landscape, and to deepen your understanding opportunities.
Alexis Nazeravich | firstname.lastname@example.org | 204-338-7991 ext. 50020
Alexandra Loeppky | email@example.com | 204-338-7991 ext. 50020