From coast to coast to coast, over 300 educators will have the opportunity to gather to learn, share and connect at this made-in-Canada environmental education conference. The theme for the 2018 Conference is Classrooms to Communities (C2C) which envisions learners and educators being deeply connected to place, community and planet, able to effectively communicate their stories of connectedness, and are taking responsibility to do so.
This conference is intentionally taking place at St. Eugene Mission Resort, the site of a former residential school that is now owned and operated by the Ktunaxa First Nation as a vehicle for education, reconciliation and economic development. As Elder Mary Paul said, “It is said that, since it was within the St. Eugene Mission that the culture of the Kootenay Indian was taken away, it should be within that building that it is returned”. Nestled in the Rocky Mountain Trench adjacent to the St. Mary’s River lies Saint Eugene. This resort won the 2009 B.C. Aboriginal Tourism Conservation Award and the 2011 CGSA Environmental Achievement Award, and their golf course is certified under the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. This certification ensures the enhancement of the local natural areas and wildlife habitats, improves efficiency, and minimizes potentially harmful impacts of golf course operations.
EECOM 2018 will be hosted as a partnership between EECOM, the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN), the BC Environmental Educators Provincial Specialist Association (EEPSA) with the support of the BC Classrooms to Communities (C2C) Network. We are working in partnership with the local Ktunaxa First Nation community to find ways for conference participants to learn about this reconciliation process, and for the conference to incorporate First Peoples Principles of Learning.