Taught by the land: Canadian Roots Exchange shares how land-based education empowers Indigenous youth across Canada

Canadian Roots Exchange’s culture and wellness manager opens up about the importance of land-based education for Indigenous youth

Why It Matters

High transportation costs and urbanization are just a few barriers that keep Indigenous youth from connecting to the land. Land-based education plays a huge role in not only lowering these barriers for youth, but also teaching them how to build a relationship with the environment and protect it.

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Before the pandemic, Canadian Roots Exchange hosted land-based programs that rooted Indigenous youth in a landscape, surrounding them with its sights, sounds, and stories. In these programs, land is the educator that imbues youth with a sense of culture, history, and identity.

During a sweat lodge ceremony (a purification ceremony) which was hosted at a communal space, the youth experienced everything from beginning to end; they built the sweat lodges themselves, gathered together with the community, made the food, picked the medicines, laughed together, felt the kinship, and packed things up.

Melissa Compton, the manager of culture and wellness at Canadian Roots Excha

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