Trent Aboriginal Cultural Knowledge and Science (TRACKS) ( (What are the…
Trent Aboriginal Cultural Knowledge and Science (TRACKS)
What is TRACKS? Trent Aboriginal Cultural Knowledge and Science (TRACKS) is an educational program that offers hands-on experience to high school-aged students. TRACKS teaches from the juncture of western and indigenous science, amending this troubled history through recognition of both fields. TRACKS is based out of the Indigenous Environmental Studies and Sciences Program (IESS) of my alma mater Trent University, under the umbrella of the Kawartha World Issues Centre and supported by First People's House of Learning. TRACKS consists of two distinct but connected programs: Outreach & Education and Oshkwazin Indigenous Youth Leadership Program.
What are the vision and goals of the agency?
According to their website, TRACKS aims to:
Create an awareness that Indigenous ecological knowledge is essential to comprehensive scientific approaches to environmental issues
Provide youth with culturally rich, science-based outdoor education
Help students understand the interconnectedness of all living things
Introduce youth to diverse knowledge systems and fields of study
Connect youth with strong, motivated and dynamic mentors
Encourage youth to think about math and science skills as valuable skills in achieving their future goals
How does the agency address equity, inclusion and awareness of cultural diversity?
TRACKS addresses equity, inclusion and awareness of cultural diversity by challenging western methods of education of the sciences through implementation of traditional aboriginal learning. As a by-product of colonialism, aboriginal knowledge has been relegated to the homes and communities of our aboriginal people. However, thanks to the oral tradition of their education, this valuable knowledge has been preserved and passed on through generations. TRACKS centralizes these knowledge systems and provides an experiential way to learn the sciences in a way that complements western schooling.
What services/programs for Ontario students and their families?
TRACKS offers several workshops and programming covering a range of topics from water to fire and all sorts of ecosystems. The great thing about these workshops is that they take the kids out of the classroom and into the field, getting dirty and immersing themselves in the learning. They operate out of Trent University’s campus, allowing them access to the excellent forests and the Otonabee river that surround and run through the campus.
How are services/programs accessed?
TRACKS is not a non-profit but I am so fond of their work that I had to include them for this assignment. Their pricing is as follows:
90 minutes / 1.5 hours
180 minutes / 3 hours / half-day
270 minutes / 4.5 hours / full-day