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Learning at its Best

Those kids should be in school!

They should be in school, but are instead out taking a walk. Seven of them started


and now, ages ranging from 11 to 21,  there are 26 of them. 


Truants! They should be in school — that is, a “normal” students-in-a-box a school where they can be kept safe from undue influences. Instead, they are trekking from Hudson Bay to Ottawa (~1,300 kilometers).


The walk is a course in politics — the First Nations of Canada continue to fight against assimilation projects and programs. They are in an “open-air” school learning to walk “The Red Path”. I wonder if those kids will learn anything beyond what they already know…

This is a truly “High Stakes” test — they could die.

About Brent Snavely

A construct of upbringing and society, holder of a BS. JD and an MA, I have practiced law more than 25 years. "The Truth shall set you free", but only if it is a Personal Truth that is based upon facts. Parrhesia may be humankind's only hope (see,


3 thoughts on “Those kids should be in school!

  1. Their ancestors have been in this climate, weather, and environment for aeons. They live in it daily. If they bothered to do proper advance planning, they will make it, I am sure. (After all, the rest of the world is still watching, so succor is out there, if needed. “We have the technology.” ) Whether they “would have done better in staying school”, or doing this thing, is not knowable. Unlike spreadsheets, reality does not have a button to calculate “what ifs”, or alternative scenarios. But they may learn, or at least get to practice some useful real life skills. (Teamwork, cooperation, overcoming obstacles, etc.) And that can be as useful as school. Sometimes, more useful. Predictign the value of an event or experience, is impossible. Only reflection after the fact, can decide the value.

    I find it interesting that they are using, in addition to snowshoes, skis. An Nordic import. Perhaps Canada’s aboriginals should consider that when the rest of the world developed the technology (mostly sailing ships) to come to North America (and South America), we collectively (from Europe, China, Japan, Africa, Asia) brought them quite a gift: Knowledge of other races, other cultures, other technology, other knowledge and learning (reading, writing and arithmetic, etc.), in short: The rest of the world. Their ancestors unwisely chose isolation. Perhaps a new generation will chose fruitful engagement and interaction. Then “both sides” can perhaps benefit from “joint participation”. But contribution, not merely complaints, from both sides, will be needed. Working together to make things better for all, will be needed. (And you and I cannot have much influence on the results of that!)

    With any luck, some elders and teachers accompanied them. And can teach along the way. Or rather, both the instructors and the students can be “joint learners”. With any luck they may welcome others who may visit. Others who may have something to show them, and who will take away something from them.

    Example: If you have some chocolates, and I have some mints, we can trade those between us. But in the end, we still have the same total number of chocolates and mints. We have merely changed their “distribution”. But if you and I get together and talk and trade knowledge, techniques, methods, facts, data, stories, information, experiences, interaction, and talk…. (ie the “stuff of learning, life, education”.) we can each come away with much more than we started with…. Not that there is anything wrong with trading chocolates and mints. For that, “much expanded”, is the commerce that keeps the economy going. But we must trade both “ideas, work, and hope”, as well as “chocolates and mints”, if we are to succeed to make this country (this world?) better.

    I hope they say safe on their trip, and do not run into too many difficulties. Do keep us posted on the trip. Who knows, with luck, you may find yourself visiting the trek. If you do, bring something, and then take something…

    Posted by Pete Laberge | February 11, 2013, 3:41 pm
  2. Perhaps being forced to cede an entire continent and way of life for the “gifts” you reference is a fair exchange — perhaps that is at the heart of why the youths are taking their walk. There are many lessons to be learned…

    Posted by Brent Snavely | February 11, 2013, 8:57 pm
  3. Reblogged this on black board, white chalk and commented:
    A different kind of ‘high-stakes testing.’

    Posted by Omaira | February 12, 2013, 3:43 pm

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