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Adventures of the Gillam Cohort Part 3

November 30, 2012 — 

Gillam Cohort, Post #3:
November 25, 2012

Lynne-Marie Samples Gillam’s Culture

Lynne-Marie working in the art studio.

It’s hard to believe two weeks have already passed! Time is flying by up here in Gillam. The weather has been pretty nice actually. Of course I haven’t had to walk 2 miles either! It has been an eye opener teaching different grades throughout the day, that’s for sure! It has been great seeing the excitement in the eyes of my students as they do an experiment or find something in a science book that they want to test, or that they recognize as something we have done. Everyday I have a student or two who will run up to me just to give me a hug, whether I am at the school or the rec centre. I try to get to the rec centre whenever something is going on. It’s been fantastic running into students and meeting some parents.

As I mentioned last week, I took part in the Capoeira Brazilian Martial Arts, classes taught by a man from Brazil. The teacher has been doing Capoeira since he was six and has travelled the world, even meeting the Queen on one occasion. He shared his love of the art, and his beautiful voice with us as people of all ages learned the moves and the songs. I must admit I was unable to go every day, but the days I did, I thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you to Manitoba Hydro for paying the bill so everyone could attend for free!

Gillam School brought in an Aboriginal Dancer this week for the Artist in the School Program and students in Grades 5 – 8 had the opportunity to learn some fantastic dances from him. They were gracious enough to showcase their moves in front of most of the school Friday afternoon, bringing a smile to everyone. Good job everyone! Sarah rocked as she danced right along with the students! Way to go Sarah!!

This past Friday night we all went to the Gillam School Staff Christmas Party and had some delicious turkey dinner and shared some laughs with fellow teachers.

We’re now anxiously awaiting our pizza delivery! Yes, you read that right, pizza delivery! It is a Grey Cup tradition here in Gillam, and the students work hard to make the pizzas in the Home Ec room at the school and deliver them right to your door! I can hardly wait! We get pizza and they make money for Grad. I say it’s a win-win for all!

~ Lynne-Marie

Trapper Dave

I am now legally entitled to trap animals in Manitoba. I attended a trapping course in Gillam over the weekend. The course was packed. It was attended by 25 people – most of them between 12 and 16 years old. Trapping is a mainstay in northern Manitoba. Almost all of northern Manitoba is divided into registered trap lines (RTL) as a conservation measure. An RTL is granted to a trapper who has exclusive use of the area to harvest furs. Pine marten, a member of the weasel family, is the target species here because the population is very high. They are very easy to trap because they are very curious and can bring about $100 a pelt in prime condition. Snowmobiling down the local trails, one sees many marten traps hanging from the trees.

The local Natural Resource Officer (NRO) and an experienced local trapper, Mr. Beardy, instructed the course. They were very knowledgeable and practiced – even the NRO has a trap line in the area. It was gratifying to watch master craftsmen apply their trade in the course. They shared many stories and tricks of the trade. As a biologist, and future teacher, I certainly learned a lot.

At the course, I met a man from Byrd who was there with his three sons. Byrd, a community of Fox River Cree Nation, has a community trapping area surrounding the town. The community trapping area is part of a youth wilderness traditions program that encourages aboriginal youth to experience a traditional lifestyle, which indicates a strong local influence in the education of youth – something that is perhaps missing in formalized education.

~ Dave Overgaard

Allison Embraces err…Learns to Live With the Cold

I have survived the coldest day in Gillam. When we woke up this morning, it was a lovely -39 degrees Celsius (including windchill). What I have learned here, the school does not close for cold weather, you just have to put on more layers and hope you survive!

We have been very busy in Gillam. The school is getting ready for the Frontier Games, which start on December 10th in Churchill, MB. As a Winnipeg girl, it is amazing that schools across the area will gather in Churchill for the three-day event, and will be sleeping in the school! It is an experience that I hope to be a part of as one of the soccer coaches.

I look forward to the next three weeks at Gillam School with the excitement of the winter festivities around the corner!

~ Allison Steedsman

Gillam’s a Home-Away-From-Home for Sarah

Sarah works on some math problems with the kids.

I made it through the week. I was still battling the Gillam bug this week and have been fighting my excitement to get to be at school with fever, sore throat and one rough cough.  Things are improving health wise after many hours of sleep and a roommate who loves to make tea.

I have met some young people here in Gillam who have welcomed us into their group of friends and it’s amazing how a small town works.  Since its such a small group of people here in Gillam, you can’t help but quickly get to know people, feel comfortable and get a sense that you’ve known them for years. Just this Saturday Allison and I went glow bowling for a birthday party and then to a fireworks show at Landing Lake. It was a great night and birthday surprise for the young lady of the hour, and it was great to be a part of group and feel at home.

I attended my third Frontier Games soccer practice since I’ve become involved. We only have a few more weeks to go to get to know each other as a team and build on our skills, so the practices will start to be pretty fast paced.

Go Timberwolves, Go!!

~ Sarah Barton

See the Nov. 13, 2012 post here.
See the Nov. 18, 2012 post here.

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