By Julia Magsombol – Local Journalism Initiative 

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People say that climbing mountains is not only about getting to the top but also about seeing the whole world — that’s what educational leaders did at Nipika Mountain Resort recently to support their schools and communities. 

From April 14 to 16, 40 educators from different school districts in B.C. gathered for an event organized by the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN). 

“The idea of the gathering was for environmental education and some of the challenges that school districts are facing in regards to getting children outside,” said Faye O’Neil, the coordinator of Indigenous education. 

She noted the gathering was about incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing into lessons that teachers can use. The gathering also tackled Indigenous reconciliation, mental health, sustainability, and more. 

“[We’re all] embracing the Indigenous ways of knowing…. and really getting to know how to use the land and supporting the land in the traditional ways that Indigenous peoples have been stewarding for thousands of years,” O’Neil said. 

The mood during the 10th annual event was “very exciting” and “relaxing,” she added. Since there was no internet on the mountain, they practised mindfulness while discussing educational plans. 

“It’s all about connecting with nature, connecting with one another,” O’Neil explained, noting it’s interesting to see other people’s passion for environmental education. For more information about the event, visit