Itohonan – Forest School is a 14-week educational program for Atikamekw youth in Manawan who are over 16 and have dropped out of school. The program includes five to seven weeks of workshops in French and math adapted to Atikamekw learning as well as several days of cultural and traditional activities in the forest. Participants therefore alternate between academic learning, learning about group living, and traditional Aboriginal activities. Itohonan fosters the personal, relational, and interpersonal development of participants by integrating the four aspects of the human being: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Participants particularly appreciate the talking circles, which enable them to build their self-confidence and ability to express themselves. These talking circles also provide an opportunity to connect with the community’s elders. The support of the Local First Nations Commission (LFNC) and Conseil des Atikamekw de Manawan (CDAM) in particular facilitates project implementation.
Itohonan – Forest School
Promotion of Aboriginal culture
30 March 2015