Dechinta Godzèa Youth Progam
When you apply for a Dechinta program you will also be given the option to enroll your children in Dechinta Godzèa (Our Little Hearts on the Land), our child and youth engagement program. This is a space where families can learn together and where children are invited to attend semesters with their parent(s) so they can also learn on the land. This has become one of the most vital components of our Dechinta learning model as many students choose to bring their children with them to camp. Dechinta Godzèa offers seasonal opportunities for learning on-the-land cultural skills and practices that reconnect children and youth with their communities, the land and their language.
Dechinta Godzèa Values
Our Dechinta Godzèa program pedagogy is rooted in Dene ethics and laws, a child-led learning model, the Dene Kede curriculum, and the Dene Nation Land and Culture Based Education Resource. The theoretical frameworks of the Godzèa program are shaped by thinking deeply with Dene worldviews, and Dene land-based foundations and perspectives. Dechinta Godzèa is rooted in Dene Kede curriculum which is Indigenous-led, land-based and rooted in cultural practices. The Dene Kede Curriculum focuses on four main relationships: Our relationship with the Land, our relationship with the Spirit World, our relationship with other People, and our relationship with ourselves. We spend the majority of our time outside connecting with each other and the land.
What Your Child Can Expect at Dechinta Godzèa
The rhythm of our days at Dechinta Godzèa are structured by the weather, what harvesting can be done, or what the camp community needs. Together, we actively observe and participate in learning about the land, cultural practices and building connections. Children and youth ages 0-18 explore, observe, practice and learn from Elders, parents, aunties, uncles, grandparents, cousins and new peers. They watch, listen and participate in land-based practices on their own. Children and Youth always learn about paying the land, feeding the fire, and setting up or taking down camps which strengthens their connection to the land and camp as a community, helping them develop their cultural skills and practices to live well with the land and be good hunters, trappers, and harvesters as they grow. The children and youth also have their own tent and space to decompress at Dechinta, where they are encouraged to reflect on their on-the-land experiences through reading, writing, sharing circles, colouring, playing and various expressions of art.
How to Apply
When we offer accredited courses we always offer children and youth programming for the children of Dechinta staff and students. After you have been accepted to a program, arrangements with the Dechinta Godzèa program can be made with one of our student support staff members.