Flash Back Fridays

By Stew Lang, 1983

Natives from many parts of British Columbia are learning some ancestral skills at Strathcona Park Lodge and Outdoor Education Centre.

Instructors at the educational facility on Upper Campbell Lake have trained 60 to 70 natives as professional guides and outfitters since last fall and 10 are currently enrolled in the program.

Tony cooking fish native style

Tony cooking fish native style

Canada Manpower finances part of the course to the tune of $6,000 per student each four-month period. Individuals pay $225 per month room and board.

All facets of outdoor activities are stressed.

Land and water-based instructions is provided in touring and white-water canoeing, kayaking, lifesaving, fishing, survival, first aid, native culture, boat maintenance, shake-splitting, rock climbing, mountaineering, cabin and shelter building, cooking, provisioning, public relations and how to deal with tourists.

Certification is provided in several categories, including first aid and canoeing.

Strathcona also trains non-native guides and runs an apprenticeship program for potential outdoor leaders .

Approximately 3,000 children from Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island have taken part in the school program this year.

In addition, opportunities for individuals to learn nearly every outdoor field abound.