Shaping Saskatchewan: Garrick Schmidt

Land-based learning is a way of life for Indigenous people.

Garrick Schmidt is the owner and operator of Eagle Ridge Dog Sled Tours and Racing Kennel and a land-based educator for White Bear Education Complex on White Bear First Nation.

Land-based learning consists of teachings, stories, ceremony, song and survival skills.

Read more: Dog owner preps for upcoming dog sled competition in northern Saskatchewan

In a recent interview with Global News, Schmidt talks about some of the traditions and protocols that are included with his teachings.

“I’ve done some round dance and sun dancing with my students, teaching them some songs and then talking about the protocols between the men and women’s roles, offering tobacco to elders or anyone as a payment of thank you for receiving knowledge or any guidance you may need.”

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Students get a much different experience compared to being inside a classroom.

Read more: White Bear First Nation land-based educator is being recognized

“I guess they get 100 per cent real experience. It’s not sugar coated, it’s not fluffy. It’s all hands-on or kinetic learning. There are a lot of oral traditions that are shared and I find the students are very attentive when they are on the land opposed to when we are in the classroom.”

Schmidt realized after a few years of being in his education program that teaching outside of the classroom was his preference and how important it would be to incorporate his teachings to others on the land.

Read more: Land-based education teaches White Bear First Nation kids survival skills

This winter his students are working with dogs and building a relationship with them. He believes that connection is vital between students and animals for healing and reconciliation.

In Shaping Saskatchewan, Brandi Boxall sits down with Schmidt to talk about how land-based learning is a way of life for Indigenous people and the importance of the teachings.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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