Girl Guides of Canada sponsors a variety of domestic and international travel opportunities for girls and adults. Our travel program offers amazing experiences for members to explore their sense of adventure, develop new friendships and discover something new about themselves. Our trips also provide amazing educational opportunities including unique cross-cultural experiences, service-learning projects, and new perspectives on global issues! Here is one example from guest blogger Hailey on her recent trip to Churchill, Manitoba.
Like most people, when I put in my application for the Girl Guides’ Arctic Adventure trip, I thought there was no way I would ever get to go. A little later, I found myself waking up my mom at 2 AM to tell her that I was going to Churchill, Manitoba! Along with myself, 11 other Girl Guides, three Guiders and our wonderful leader from Global Explorers set off on the adventure of a life time!
Churchill is a beautiful town of 800 people. They have one four-way-stop, and not very many paved roads, and so much land where people don’t live! In the city where I live, there is no place that isn’t touched by man. Yeah, you can go into a forest, but how much litter is there? It’s not like that in Churchill; there is no litter, no houses, and no people, just beautiful land.
There is also wonderful culture! We saw tons of museums when we were there, and spent a day in Winnipeg to learn about the Sayisi Dene – a group of native people who live in Churchill. We also read Night Spirits by Ila Bussidor beforehand. The culture is almost as beautiful as the land! We saw how people respected the land, and how they interacted with nature.
Unfortunately, you can also see how things are changing. Now, I’m not going to go on about global warming or climate change because I know you’ve heard it a million times, but I think that we should try to do something, even if little to make a change for the better.
Ethnocide is what I really want to talk about. Ethnocide is like genocide but with culture. Culture is one way to get in touch with your inner self in a sense. In Churchill, we learned about how when the Dene people returned from residential schools, they couldn’t even speak to their family anymore because they now only spoke English. We heard about how people died as a direct result of the relocation, and that was only a little bit of what we learned. You wouldn’t think that losing your culture is a big deal, but try to understand that it is! I want to inspire a change in girls and everyone to make a change for the better.
I am so glad I went on this trip where I got to see the landscape and learn about Canadian heritage and this particular focus on indigenous communities.
For more information on ethnocide: http://youtu.be/bL7vK0pOvKI
By guest blogger Hailey Davis, first year Ranger.