Grand Opening of the Nmaachihna
The Indigenous Education Coalition (IEC) is pleased to announce the Grand Opening of the Nmaachihna, Indigenous Enviro-Education Centre being unveiled at a special gathering on September 22, 2011 at Moraviantown. The centre will showcase the traditional way of life of Ontario First Nations.
The centre will be open to Ontarioʼs school children starting this fall, providing them with an alternative, interactive outdoor classroom. Bruce Stonefish, the Executive Director of the IEC, says Nmaachihna is not just another static museum or archeological exhibit.
“Itʼs a ʻlivingʼ village where students will get hands-on experience in working with the environment the way Indigenous peoples live with the land,” he says.
Stonefish says Nmaachihnaʼs programming will enhance classroom instruction and help teachers meet the mandatory Ontario Curriculum Guidelines in such subject areas as history, social studies, science, geography and art. “We will be using our knowledge about traditional foods, as well as the environment, bush survival skills, hunting, fishing and recreation to cover the full spectrum of school subject areas,” he says.
Members of the general public who would like to experience Nmaachihna and learn more about First Nations get their chance next year, as the centre plans to open to the general public in 2012. “Nmaachihna is all about building relationships and improving the depth of understanding between First Nations and the rest of Canadian society,” says Stonefish.
The media is invited to attend tomorrowʼs Grand Opening, which begins at 5:00pm with a feast and ribbon cutting, followed by a tour of the centre and a traditional game of Fire Ball. Nmaachihna is located at 14921 Riverline Road, Bothwell, Ontario, which is on Delaware Nation Territory at Moraviantown.
The Indigenous Education Coalition is a non-profit organization created in 1997 to provide culturally relevant educational support for its 12 member Nations. Its work includes curriculum development, parental engagement, education consulting, professional development for educators, and coordination of a First Nations Student Success Program.