I’d love to see the development of an “Aboriginal Tourist & Educational Agency” that invites people from around the world who want to learn about the Aboriginal people’s ancient way of life and culture through experiential education.
All people, but particularly Ontario’s recent immigrants, school children and visitors, would be enlightened by a visit to Aboriginal historic sites, like Huronia, or Manitoulin Island, and other places, and experience life before the coming of the White man.
Imagine commercial and educational retreats managed and taught by aboriginal educators. They would employ people who are trained in hospitality, education, and the trades, to manage, teach, and facilitate these educational retreats.
Visitors might help build a teepee or long house and/or spend their nights in them, learn to hunt or fish, build canoes, and get lessons on Aboriginal justice, religious beliefs and practices, rituals; experience the healing of the sweat lodge, as well as have the experience of dancing to a hundred drums while living in nature, all led and taught by aboriginal teachers.
So many people have found that leaving the city and getting back to life in nature has great healing experience on our psyche and soul. Several of the best experiences I had as a student were field trips to Huronia, the Mohawk village in Midland Ontario, and then a tour of “The Mounds” on Rice Lake – an aboriginal burial site. I felt like I was taken back in time to their life because it was experiential, and I could appreciate the magnificence and struggles of living in, and with, nature. I imagine that this land was both an Eden and a challenge for them.
I believe that if given the tools to teach the world, we show our respect for what was taken from the first nation’s people, and I hope we might contribute to honouring them, restoring their pride and self-esteem, and more importantly, teach the world an important part of Ontario’s history and ancient culture, by way of education and commercial enterprise.