Elementary students flesh, paint moose hide for land-based study
REGINA -- A group of Grade 5 and 6 students from Seven Stones Community School have completed a three month long project focused on land-based living.
The students, with help from their teaching intern Garrick Schmidt, completed all the steps in preparing moose hide as art work.
They had hands-on experience in almost every step along the way: including creating frames to stretch the hides, then fleshing, smoking and finally painting them.
“It feels awesome. I didn’t know it would turn out this way. I thought it would look worse,” said Karlia Dodman, a grade 4 student who played a big role in the project.
The moose hide project was all put together by Schmidt, who said he’d always been passionate about land-based learning.
He said to his knowledge, this was the first time it had been done in a Regina school.
It gave the students a new perspective of what it means to live off the land, and some portions took them out of a standard classroom learning.
“The majority of the project we had about 90 per cent of hands-on work with the students,” Schmidt said.
The school’s principal, Christopher Keyes, said the students’ devotion to the project was clear every step of the way.
“The work they did on this stretched their understanding of how things work in some ways that they were maybe a little shocked and uncomfortable with, but then moved on, and got into it,” Keyes said.
While Schmidt said he does see a gap in land-based education in schools, he said it’s likely due to the difficulty of teaching it properly, and the time required.
“It’s the lack of ability and the tools and the resources to do it,” he said. “Not everybody has a moose hide laying around, not everybody knows hunters, or is even willing to take the risks.”
The moose hide was split into four quarters, which will all go to different homes.
Two pieces will go to two hardworking students, one will stay with Schmidt as he heads to Ochapowace First Nation for a new teaching job and one will stay at Seven Stones Community School to remind the students of their hard work.