Two groups of first-year students attended one of two immersion learning experiences in May 2019. One was in Huu-ay-aht from May 14-17 and the other in Kyuquot from May 21-24. Both experiences were attended by NIC Elder Evelyn Voyageur, NIC faculty Joanna Fraser and student co-explorers.
Discussion circles, field trips to old village sites, attending community events, participating in school/day care activities, community dinner and ceremonial activities were some of the activities the students took part in. The student co-explorers conducted information gathering sessions, focus groups and interviews during and following the immersion learning experiences to gather information from student participants, facilitators and community members/knowledge holders about the benefits and challenges of the project.
Five of the inquiry team members representing NIC students, faculty and Elders as well as partner communities members, presented at the 2019 NAISA (Native American and Indigenous Studies Association) Conference held in Hamilton, New Zealand (Aotearoa) at the University of Waikato from June 26-29. They each shared stories from being involved in the project highlighting the benefits and transformational learning that has occurred.
The RSN project is continuing this fall and winter, with inquiry team members working on data analysis and planning follow up community visits and celebrations in the two participating communities. Feedback from the first-year students who participated has been positive and team members are looking at how to sustain this immersion learning as part of the curriculum for future students.