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The Importance of Taking Kids on Cultural Educational Trips

May 29, 2021

When you were in school, what was the most exciting experience of the year? Maybe you looked forward to the Christmas parties or spring break, but you probably anticipated the field trips most of all. There’s something special about getting out of the classroom to experience the real world. Whether it was the museum, the zoo or a science lab, every student enjoys a field trip. It’s that same, welcome excitement that we hope to generate when you visit Métis Crossing.

Visiting Métis Crossing makes for a cultural educational trip where families can explore the Métis heritage. “Our Distinct Indigenous Story” is our theme. The Métis People have a distinct heritage and culture that dates to the early days of fur trading. Métis Crossing is a contemporary retreat where people can gather to learn and share the Métis story.

It’s a cultural educational trip offering an experience like no other. Your stay can include multiple experiences that are culturally significant to the Métis. Experience the Métis art, history, culture and heritage in a unique setting. Our experiences adapt to the season, which means you can come back again and again and learn new things about the Métis.

Now, you don’t have to wait for field trips for your kids to get excited about learning. And here’s a handy tip, you don’t even have to tell them that their trip to Métis Crossing is educational! You’re taking them to a place where they can have fun with hands-on activities to explore the Métis culture. An educational experience like Métis Crossing is one of the best ways to learn about a culture.

Best education through an educational experience

Formal academic settings provide a great deal of learning for most people. From kindergarten to college, students spend hours in a classroom. While there is a time and place for this type of learning, cultural educational trips are the place where learning meets reality. Experiential learning is active learning. It’s these impactful experiences that make learning fun and exciting, instead of dull and boring. The best educational experiences help a student stretch their knowledge and expand their intellectual horizon.

Social opportunities  

Today’s workforce is more collaborative than ever before. In formal education, it can be difficult to get students excited about working together. Cultural experiences are naturally social. Students learn to build relationships through experiences, which is a skill required for the rest of their lives.

Practical experience  

Reading about something is much different than actually doing it. There’s an old saying that you can’t learn to ride a bike in a classroom. The best learning occurs when you learn, then apply that knowledge to real life. It’s this practical experience that helps a student figure out their career path. An experience at Métis Crossing gives students a chance to explore the outdoors and learn more about history and culture.

Multisensory learning  

The five senses are fundamental to learning. Although most students primarily learn through sight, sound or touch, the Métis Crossing experiences incorporate all the senses to activate more parts of the brain to develop skills that helps students succeed. Scent has a strong impact on memory and learning. An odour or aroma can trigger memories from years before. Taste can help students recall an experience that is associated with food.

Instill a love of learning

The best students never stop learning. Cultural educational trips support a foundation of learning that will stay with a student the rest of their life. Studying another culture can be the bridge to learning more about your own history. If you want your children to be inspired about education, you can’t let them think that learning only happens in the classroom. There’s a whole world around us that needs to be explored outside the school boundary.

Interactive learning breeds engagement

Métis Crossing shares the distinct story of the Métis with you and your family in an interactive way. You may want to experience walking in moccasins across the prairie while wearing the Métis sash that is just as practical today as it was a symbol of association traditionally. Paddle a canoe down the river to learn about the environment and why eco-laws are so important to the Métis. When kids partake in an interactive experience, it makes them eager and excited to know more.

Why do kids need be educated about the culture of the Métis?

Cross-cultural learning promotes understanding between people. You begin to understand why people do the things they do. You identify with other people and can empathize with them more effectively. People who understand other cultures are better students, citizens and leaders. Cultural intelligence increases tolerance and acceptance.

The benefits of a cultural educational trip are deep and diverse. Learning about the Métis culture is important for kids because of its significance to Canadian history.

The Métis have a complex culture

Métis is the French word for “mixed.” The first-generation Métis were children of the women of First Nations people and the European fur traders who came to the New World. While the Métis bridged two cultures, they were also isolated from their societies. The Métis didn’t fit into European society, although they were allowed to study and learn in Europe. The First Nations often discriminated against Métis. The Métis didn’t have Indian designation that allotted them rights of the First Nations until the late 20th century. Learning about their heritage gives students a better understanding of Canadian history and the place of the Métis in their own culture.

The Métis helped shape Canada

When the first settlers came to America, the Native women were instrumental in their endeavours. European men needed the women to help them survive the harsh land. The women taught the men what plants were safe to eat. The Native women were more than companions. They were the survival experts that translated languages, made clothing and gear for the traders and cooked food. As the fur traders married the Native women, they had children born of these unions who bridged the First Nations and European cultures to create the Métis culture. The Métis helped in the expansion of the West.

The Métis have a distinct culture and collective consciousness

Cultural educational trips give students a chance to see the culture of the Métis up close and to experience it firsthand. Learning about a culture in the classroom is theoretical. Living among the Métis for a few days is practical understanding. The Métis were skilled buffalo hunters that had a strong understanding of languages. They created their own language, Michif, an unusual, mixed language in that it uses complex elements from both Native verbs and French nouns.

The Métis community is growing

According to the 2016 Census, over 580,000 Canadians identified as Métis. With a 51.2% growth since 2006, the Métis are one of the fastest growing populations in Canada. Alberta is the only province with a land base recognized by provincial legislation, but the Métis reside across Canada. There are Métis in the United States, too. In fact, the Métis have been hiding in plain sight for generations. It’s time this culture was celebrated for its place in Canadian history.

Learning about history helps prepare you for the future

The Métis have a celebrated history that isn’t easily understood without study. Learning their history helps students understand current events. There are many court cases involving the Métis that could potentially shape the future of mining in different provinces. There is a growing concern of missing indigenous women and children. As students become active members of society as adults, they will need to understand these issues to make good decisions with their votes and purchases.

Students who study other cultures have a better appreciation for preserving the past

Studying history can be dry without an appreciation for the culture. An interactive cultural experience that gives students a look into the past can help them understand why museums are vital to our future. This experience can help someone understand why there’s renewed interest in speaking Michif to preserve this language for future generations. The value of a cultural experience at Métis Crossing will reach across many years.

Benefits of an educational experience

Maria Montessori once said, “Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.” Educational experiences have a wide range of benefits that apply to a child’s development. Students and adults of all ages who take part in cultural educational trips can have more empathy for others through exposure to other cultures. Many teachers observe better attitudes toward learning when students have an active role in their studies.

Kids can practice their skills

Experiential learning can be seen in action in science classes that combine traditional study with lab sessions. In the classroom, students learn concepts. In the laboratory, students practice those concepts. This hands-on learning translates to higher retention and a better understanding of the subject. Educational experiences are vital to problem-solving. The Métis are innovators and inventors who adopted the European technology of the time to the land in Canada to be more efficient traders.

Students learn why they are learning

Cultural educational experiences help students understand why knowledge matters. If you’ve ever wondered why you need to understand algebra, you can relate to this feeling. It isn’t until you get into the real world and you have to solve real-life math problems that you begin to genuinely appreciate your teachers who taught you what you then believed was unnecessary and far too complicated. Students who have cultural experiences are empowered because they know that their learning has an impact on their world.

Students learn to be creative

Too many people associate creativity only with subjects like music or poetry, but creativity encompasses so much more than just the arts. Cultural experiences allow students to find creativity in other subjects and helps them develop new ways of thinking. Visiting Métis Crossing is an adventure that supports creativity across multiple disciplines.

Students learn to reflect on their experiences

Educational cultural experiences are memories that students will cherish for many years. The concrete experiences at Métis Crossing can be discussed over the dinner table or in the classroom as students gain more knowledge. Now, they aren’t simply learning abstract concepts that are unfamiliar. They can analyze their experience with the Métis culture against what they learn. This reflection helps students make a stronger connection with their world.

You don’t have to entertain your kids

An educational experience can take the burden off you to keep your kids busy. You can interact with your family without having to plan activities and explain everything. An educational experience benefits everyone who attends, no matter how old or how young. Everyone will remember their adventure for years to come.

Plan your cultural educational experience

Canada has many cultures that make up its heritage. Understanding and appreciating cultures is key to celebrating the diversity of Canadians. The Métis are just one of three distinct Aboriginal peoples recognized by the Canadian Constitution.

Learn more about the cultural educational trips at Métis Crossing.

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