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Science camp starting up

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After the overwhelming success of last summer’s program, the second-annual Rainy River First Nation Summer Science Camp kicks off next week.

The program, which runs July 10 through to Aug. 17, and will be held at the Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Historical Centre west of Barwick. Organizers include Rainy River First Nation, the Seven Generations Educational Institute, and the Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Historical Centre.

Over the course of six weeks, groups of up to 30 students, aged seven to 16, will spend two days exploring the site and learning from elders and Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Historical Centre staff. They will sleep in teepees in a meadow overlooking the river.

Combining traditional ecological knowledge with western science, the project aims to get young members of the First Nations community involved in the conservation of Rainy River--and give them hands-on science experience they can use in the future.

“We want to get younger children interested in science and environmental issues as a possible career,” said Rebecca Dodd, a technician at the Rainy River Watershed Program who will be teaching a course on plant identification at the camp.

Students also will get lessons on water-testing techniques and site archaeology.

Last year’s camp, which only was available to about 40 children from Rainy River First Nation, generated so much interest that the program has been expanded to accommodate youths from the 10 area bands.

“This way we can reach over 300-400 people,” Dodd said.

Participation in the camp is free.

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