Theme 8: Rural Schools as the Hub for Culture and Generation Integration

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There were also many examples of how rural schools bring cultures and ages together in one setting. Some talked about how well rural schools educate students about Aboriginal culture and how their school is also a gathering place for elders and a spiritual place for all. Opportunity for students to learn First Nations languages from the other students was also pointed to as a cultural strength of rural schools.

Others talked about how important their school is for seniors and other adults in the community as a place of learning and community-building, and how much students themselves learn by spending time with seniors.

This weaving of culture and generations was identified as a very important part of the rural school experience for many.

Question: Do you any ideas for strengthening the cultural and generational benefits of rural schools?

4 responses to “Theme 8: Rural Schools as the Hub for Culture and Generation Integration

  1. Rhonda

    Reopen a Rural School that has just been sitting there and watch in wonder:
    Foot Care Clinics for the Seniors (and do not forget – there are plenty of us Baby Boomers!!)
    Early Learning Center – programs/activities for families with young children
    Hub for Home Schooling
    Indoor Sports throughout the long Winter months: pickle ball; volleyball; yoga; basketball; Zumba
    Junior Achievement Club
    Church Service on Sundays
    Local Musicians host a Full Moon Coffee House once per month
    Elder Hostel Dorm Room/ International Students Dorm Room
    Wetlands Interpretive Center
    Small Business Incubation Room
    Community Economic Development Workshops
    Farmers Market/Community Garage Sales…
    And so on…

  2. Alexander

    My experience in a remote school district confirms those comments. But because those opportunities exist mainly in those schools, and not in large urban centres, it means that the majority of BC students will not enjoy education based on First Nations cultural heritage and the associated personal contact with First Nations. This is a pity, and I am not sure how it could be addressed.
    One specific way in which the government could further improve that specific strength of rural schools is by promoting the conservation of indigenous languages and the training of native speakers. Our district has made very impressive progress along those lines, but more could be done.

  3. Heather

    Placing a value on community and schools that neighbour First Nations Reserves, and that actively work to build relationships with those First Nations is important, and reaches beyond education into all aspects of life. The school is the place where neighbours gather, meet, understand and build respect, which spreads into the wider community. Place and proximity in this case is important. We need to place a high value on schools doing this, and support them furthering these efforts. There is a willingness from our neighbouring Band school and our public school on the edge of the Reserve to do more outreach and programs together — beyond our schools playing sports and going on field trips together. This is hampered by the notion of competing funding. A reimagining of funding that could mutually benefit both schools, and have them work together is desired.

  4. christina

    Might I also add that the school in a small remote area may be the only opportunity available to expose students to fine and performing art events. These opportunities may be as a result of a band programme or a theatre programme or the hard work of a community based, volunteer run concert association. In my local middle/high school, band begins at 7 a.m. with a teacher having to travel 45 minutes plus from the town down the road – weather and road conditions permitting during the winter. And, as usual as fewer classes are offered due to lower enrollment and therefore less funding, first on the chopping block are often what are considered "soft" electives in favour of academic requirements for post-secondary and thus – the "cultural" aspects of education, to say nothing of the creative opportunities afforded children who might march to the beat of a different drummer are thwarted.

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