By Julia Magsombol 

Local Journalism Initiative 

[email protected]

The Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN) helped the BC Classrooms to Communities (C2C) Network initiate a learning experience that connects people to their land through Indigenous ways. 

“The goal of this annual event is to help connect classrooms and communities to grow collaboration, leadership and mentorship capacity for place-based education and environmental literacy,” said the CBEEN staff. 

The C2C provides leadership and support to teachers, school districts and community partners through local, regional and provincial initiatives, and activities across British Columbia. 

The learning event will occur on October 20 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through a Zoom meeting. There is a registration fee, and it varies. The event includes storytelling of the Indigenous land, culture, mental health, and more. 

Ariana Roundpoint, the author of Sila and the Land, will also be one of the Indigenous keynote speakers. 

There will also be a workshop available from educator and counsellor Dana Reaume. This will be followed by a closing ceremony. For more information, read: https://outdoorlearningstore.com/event/c2c-2023

“CBEEN’s team works hard to build and maintain strong and authentic relationships with a wide range of Indigenous educators, advisors, leaders and mentors. As a result, these presenters emerged from these relationships,” said staff. 

CBEEN explained that the first-ever C2C provincial event was held in 2018 at St. Eugene Resort. There were 325 people who attended. Since then, CBEEN has partnered to host this event virtually and in person around the province every year. 

“Last year, we hosted over 300 educators in Revelstoke, bringing together powerful Indigenous and non-Indigenous voices to help encourage, inspire and empower positive change across our region and around the province,” CBEEN said. 

CBEEN’s Director of Learning, Jade Berrill, added that since it was so successful, she proposed hosting this virtual event to allow more people to attend. They expect more than 500 people at the upcoming event. 

CBEEN explained that anyone who is an educator, from classroom teachers to community educators and parents, is welcome. The event occurs annually on the Provincial Specialist Association (PSA) Day – a day for teachers in B.C. to direct their professional development.  “We have found that hosting events like these are powerful ways to inspire education and empower positive action,” staff pointed out. “We hope this will attract a diverse range of educators of all types.”