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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Land Based Education Immersion Retreat


Land Based | Indigenous Languages | Local Knowledge | Hand on Experiences |Oral Knowledge | Interactive | Relationality 

This Land Based Education Immersive Retreat will allow TRU faculty and staff members to develop an in-depth understanding of land-based learning principles that are are based on respect, responsibility, reciprocity, and relationality. Participants will be encouraged to experience how and why these often differ from Western views of teaching and learning.

Land-based learning provides benefits such as building community connectedness and resilience, improving mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness, advancing reconciliation by decolonizing educational institutions, and improving understanding of land, territory, and the language of Indigenous peoples. Participants will learn about the significance of the land, including its uses and history, contribute to generating an awareness and understanding for protecting and caring for the land and the value of the land to Indigenous peoples.

Why are we offering this retreat?

  • There is a global need for all community members to learn about the state of the planet
  • We want faculty and staff to have the opportunity to develop a connection to the land and its teachings
  • This provides TRU community members with an opportunity to gain an awareness of the Indigenous cultures
  • The retreat will help faculty to learn how to create culturally respectful and inclusive learning spaces that are hands-on and engaging
  • Honors the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
  • Supports the revitalization process of Indigenous Languages

Components of Land Based Education

  • Outdoor Teaching and Learning
  • Indigenous Local Culture (languages, songs, oral stories, traditional practices, plant knowledge, etc.,)
  • Inclusionary (ecological, Indigenous) teaching practices
  • Experiential land-based activities
  • Personal learning and connection to the land

What to expect

  • This event will be highly interactive and ask participants to take time to reflect and consider their own relationship with the land.
  • This workshop will take place outdoors in a forested environment. There will be natural obstacles, trees, bugs, and wildlife and much of the learning will happen outdoors, on the land.
  • Accommodations will be shared at the Wells Gray Education and Research Station and registrants will be expected to be present for the entire workshop (4 days, 3 nights) in order to learn and develop as a group.
  • Along with toiletries (bug spray, sunscreen), clothes suitable for indoor and outdoor learning in June, and other necessities, participants will be asked to bring their own bedding.
  • We encourage car-sharing as a form of sustainable transportation, more details will be available as the date gets closer.
  • Food preparation activities will be shared; dietary considerations and accommodations will be requested from participants in advance.
  • Planning meetings and other get togethers will be held leading up to the event.


 Can I come for one or two nights instead of all three?

We respectfully ask that only participants who can commit to all four days/ three nights register for this workshop. This will provide the opportunity for opening/ closing ceremonies and deep reflection.

 Will transportation be provided?

We will be meeting with registrants before the retreat to arrange shared transportation.

 How much will this cost?

We are offering this workshop free to TRU faculty and staff.

 Can I bring my spouse/partner/child/friend?

This retreat is open to TRU faculty and staff with a focus on teaching and learning on the land. If the person you wish to attend with is a TRU faculty or staff member, they are welcome to register. We are not able to accommodate those from outside TRU.

 Will there be mosquitos/ blackflies?

Probably. We recommend bringing bug spray and long-sleeved clothing.

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