Traditional Knowledge-Sharing Across Cultures

It was a whirlwind tour that ended less than three weeks ago – but the memories will last a lifetime! The FIT-funded knowledge sharing tour across Canada made an incredible impact not only on our Nicaraguan guests, Tony Llorente, Edda Muller and Alonso Joseph, but also touched the hearts and minds of so many Canadians!

Highlights from the tour included a visit to Yellowknife – not only to see the northern lights and to visit our favorite foundation funder – but also to visit the Tłı̨chǫ people of Behchokǫ̀. There, we learned about opportunities for locally-managed economic development and the importance of youth employment. We were impressed by the diverse initiatives they were involved in and their long-term vision for their people. They even have a Shopify site where local Tłı̨chǫ artists can sell their wares, given that they live in such a remote place. Shopify also financed the production of a documentary short entitled “and Nowhere Else: The Tłı̨chǫ Nation” to celebrate the places where the Tłı̨chǫ Nation lives, works and creates.

And, of course, the Northwest Territories offers no end of beautiful scenery – especially in Autumn!

During our visit to Ottawa, when we were not meeting with MPs, speaking at conferences or conversing with colleagues at Global Affairs Canada, we had a chance to visit the impressive collection of indigenous art at Canada’s national gallery.

“It’s so hard to pick a favorite, but for me the highlight was presenting to MPs at the meeting in the Speakers Lounge in the House of Commons. We really felt part of the political process and were proud to show the results of our projects that have been financed in part by the Canadian government, along with Change for Children donors”
–Tony Llorente
Project Manager, Change for Children, Nicaragua
In Vancouver, we learned about the roundhouse and totems of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh first nations, and were impressed by the inclusion of indigenous peoples in the climate march and important political and cultural events. And, in Edmonton, we received a warm welcome from collaborators in the Aramat project at the University of Alberta. We learned about ways we can work together and share knowledge with this amazing collaborative network of Indigenous Peoples sharing traditional knowledge across the world.
“One of the best parts for me was visiting sites that, like BOSAWAS, are also UNESCO world heritage sites, like Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump. We see from these sites and the Indigenous peoples who are the stewards and protectors of these areas, that preservation is possible – and that UNESCO can be called upon to ensure these sites remain protected.”
– Alonso Joseph
Secretary, Indigenous Territorial Government of western BOSAWAS
The strong alliances made between our Nicaraguan Miskito Indigenous guests and the Teachers that participated in our ATA Teachers’ Tour of Nicaragua in July resulted in many classroom visits across the province. In many schools, we were able to meet with the indigenous liaisons, who shared stories, rituals and insights into how the truth and reconciliation education process is done in Canadian schools. We were lucky to visit these schools right after the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, and our guests were impressed with how much indigenous cultures, ways of knowing, and sacred connections to the land are celebrated in Canadian schools.
“For me, visiting the classrooms of our Alberta teacher colleagues was the highlight of my trip to Canada. It was so interesting to see the similarities in the challenges faced by Alberta teachers – and also the huge difference in the resources they have access to in order to solve problems.”
– Edda Muller
Pedagogy Specialist, Change for Children, Nicaragua

We had a full schedule to be sure and are grateful for all those with whom we were able to share time, for those who opened their doors, and for those who extended invitations. Our guests have returned to their home communities in Nicaragua having felt most welcomed (thanks to the hospitality of many of you, including being hosted at an Oilers game – another highlight!), having shared experiences and knowledge with Canada’s Indigenous peoples, and with new relationships and connections to our global community.

With much appreciation for the opportunity to host a cross-cultural exchange, we extend our gratitude that this knowledge sharing initiative was made possible with support from the Fund for Innovation and Transformation (FIT), a fund generously supported by Global Affairs Canada and the Inter Council Network.

Climate Change Education In Canada Indigenous Peoples Travel Stories