For students living in urban communities, going on a hike in the forest is not a typical school activity. But thanks to an innovate program run by two Aboriginal educators in Victoria, Canada, young people are not only getting out into nature for a day, they’re also learning about local Indigenous history. Art joins Mark Albany and Jim Young’s group of middle school students on a nature walk and finds out that a forest can be a remarkable class room.
The Toledo District, located in the southern-most part of the Belize, is one of the most biologically diverse regions in Central America. Within its seventeen hundred square miles are 17 distinct eco-systems, 270 species of birds and two thousand different types of flowering plants. The Ya'axché Conservation Trust is an Indigenous-led organization that co-manages the region’s rainforests and educates farmers, local residents and visitors about the importance of preserving the local eco-systems. Art takes part in the Ranger-for-a-Day program in Golden Stream Preserve where he puts in a long day helping the park rangers on their rounds.
Clayton Thomas-Muller is a Cree activist from Northern Manitoba. He served as the Native Energy Organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network, and continues to be a prominent spokesperson against the oil industry’s exploitation of the Athabascan Tar Sands. He has extensive experience working with youth and health organizations and has attended many international forums on sustainable development and climate change, including the UN Climate Change Conference in 2009.