A group of students from Eyēʔ Sqȃ’lewen - Centre for Indigenous Education & Community Connections at Camosun College are embarking on a three-week field trip to New Zealand to learn about Māori culture.
Hosted at Te Puna Wānaka, a part of theAra Institute of Canterbury, this Indigenous study tour includes a homestay, Māori performing arts course, and language courses, among other opportunities for cultural immersion.
“We’re beyond thrilled to see this new group of students embark on such a unique journey. We look forward to hearing their stories and witnessing the positive impact this experience will have on their lives,” says Marius Langeland, Associate Director of International Partnerships and Projects at Camosun.
The trip will provide students with a unique opportunity to experience the values, language, and traditions of the Māori people. Students will engage in a range of activities, including rock gathering, jade stone carving, and water crest harvesting to gain a better understand these traditional practices though applied learning.
For Katie Manomie, a student in Camosun’s Indigenous Studies Diploma program, the trip is chance to make cross-cultural connections and build relationships with diverse Indigenous communities worldwide.
“My expectations are wide open, and I can't wait to discover the similarities and differences between my culture and that of the Māori people,” says Manomie, who is also the elected Indigenous Director for the Camosun College Student Society. “By broadening my understanding of Indigenous peoples around the world, I believe I can become a more effective advocate for their rights and needs.”
The trip is made possible by Global Skills Opportunity, a national outbound student mobility program that is expected to support more than 16,000 Canadian college and undergraduate-level university students from across the country. While open to all Canadian post-secondary students, the national program targets groups for whom international experiences have traditionally been less accessible — specifically Indigenous students, students from low-income backgrounds and those with disabilities.
“By broadening my understanding of Indigenous peoples around the world, I believe I can become a more effective advocate for their rights and needs.”
- Katie Manomie, Indigenous Studies Diploma program student
The program is set to continue until March 31, 2025 at Camosun, providing opportunities for more Indigenous students to participate in educational events and other programming.