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Kingfisher centre to hold ‘salmonars’ at conference for teachers and post-secondary students

September 27, 2019
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Featuring Dr. Milt McClaren | Article from the Vernon Morning Star

With concerns of climate change on the rise, many are equally concerned about the strength of salmon populations. This Provincial Day, students and teachers in the North Okanagan will have the chance to learn what can be done.

The Kingfisher Interpretive Centre Society is hosting the Salmon Forever conference, a Pro-d event on Oct. 25. focused around three themes: climate change education, Indigenous perspectives on salmon conservation, and harmonizing studies on salmon with the newly revised B.C. curriculum.

Morning sessions will take place at A.L. Fortune Secondary School running from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. A keynote speech on each of these themes will be given by Simon Fraser University emeritus professor Dr. Milt McClaren, Okanagan College’s Dr. Bill Cohen and Thompson Rivers University’s Dr. Nan Stevens.

A winner of the BC Teachers Federation’s Maxwell Cameron Medal in Education, McClaren helped build environmental education programs at SFU, and hopes the knowledge he passes on to participants of the event will help curb feelings of fear, confusion and helplessness in the face of environmental changes.

“We live at a time where people are subjected to massive amounts of information about climate change,” says McClaren.

“In my view local communities are critical contexts in which to address feelings of pessimism and powerlessness, and where effective actions and innovations can be fostered in the face of the effects of changing climate.”

For the afternoon, participants can choose between outdoor field studies at the Kingfisher centre or remain at AL Fortune for in‐class seminars on salmon studies.

The afternoon field studies offer the chance to participate in three 30 minute learning stations. There are nearly a dozen topics to choose from ranging from Indigenous traditional fishing methods, connecting to place through story and aquatic invertebrate monitoring.

The salmon seminars – or “salmonars” – will consist of hour-long sessions in small groups, and delve deeper into the conversations started by the keynote speakers. A session on journaling with UBCO’s David Barnum will also be an option.

The event is open to K-12 teachers at a price of $140, and post-secondary students for $40. Coffee, snacks, lunch and transportation to Kingfisher (courtesy of School District 83) is included. To register, visit the event’s page on Eventbrite.