Monday, 31 October 2016


Cross Lake has some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets we'd ever seen. The skies lit up pink at 8am and set between 4:30-5:30pm. 

Saturday, 29 October 2016


Getting off the plane at Perimeter who do we run into but Gordon Hum! The principal from Otter Nelson River School that we started this journey with! 
So amazing to run into him - and completely fitting to how this trip has gone. Everything just making weird sense and eventually coming together! 
His plane has been delayed for three days due to fog in Oxford House where his new school is. We've been invited to come visit and run some workshops up there now too! 
What a fantastic journey! Now to pick up our baggage from the pick up area! 

See you later,

We are now at the airport waiting for our plane. We had a lovely slow morning after an incredibly busy week. 
Greg gave us a ride to the airport and we said our "see you laters." 
It's never good bye. 
Greg took us by the site of the old residential school that was burned down long ago. Too bad the impact of that place still carries on. If only it was as easy to wash it away. It is a long journey to reconcile, but it's one we all need to actively participate in and be educated about.
Waiting for our plane we took some photos along the roadside and ran into Elaine and Ronnie on their way to Norway House. It's never good bye. 



Interesting tid bit: it is mud season in Cross Lake. The mud is sticky and everywhere. Expensive Jordan's wouldn't last long here. The mud is so exsensive that students are asked to remove their shoes at the beginning of the school day. Many students wear stocking feet, slippers or mocassins throughout the day because the floors would be too messy if everyone kept on their boots or shoes.
It made the classroom feel like you were at home actually. Of few of us also took off our heavy mud caked footwear during the day. 



So truly honoured. We were the guests of honour at the fall feast today and it was magnificent. All of the students and staff ate a great feast of moose, turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, salad and dessert.
We played the news clip from CTV featuring the students of Downsview talking about Mikisew which was met with cheers from Mikisew students! They were so happy and honoured and thankful that money had been raised by many of you to get them a 3D printer, books and PPC. 
I can not express enough how truly welcomed we felt by everyone. This place will always hold a special wonderful place in our heart, one that we will not let go. We are looking forward to continuing to work together. 
There is such a mix of feelings as our last day at Mikisew comes to an end. There's still so much we want to do! The week went so fast we would love to stay longer. 
More students were in designing keychains. Evelyn will continue to print them next week. The keychains were all very different and wonderful! When one student made a "Randy Rhodes" keychain Ms. Prinn was in awe and said is that your name? He laughed and she said wow I thought you were named after Ozzy Osborne's guitar player. He was impressed I think. 
Judi and Monica have really made some wonderful connections with the PPC students and I know they will miss them dearly. Of course it is not over. Plans are also in the works to have them visit us in Toronto which would be so great! 
Garth was able to complete interviews in the morning and then show all of the videos that Downsview students created as well as the clips that Mikisew students 
created this week. Everyone at the feast was cheering! It was fantastic! The students did an amazing job capturing the beauty around them. 
Dancers put on an incredible show dancing in regalia to the live drum circle and singing of the Otter River Singers. We were also treated to the amazing jig of students and the local jigging group who were unbleievable! Their feet move so fast - it's really amazing to witness.
Elaine, Myrna and Anna honoured us with this wonderful afternoon showcasing tradition and even gave us wonderful gifts! We can't believe the overwhelming kindness and generosity. After the "feast" and showcase staff and students then shook our hands as they left the auditorium wishing us safe travel and thanking us for coming. We can not wait to see everyone again either in Toronto, online or back in Cross Lake. This is really truly the start of something that doesn't end here. 
There are plans for several students and staff to visit Toronto at the end of November and then again a bus load of students is set to be competing in the Indigenous games in July 2017. We know who we'll be cheering for! Go Cross Lake!!!
This evening we ate another feast at Greg and Betty Lou's house. What an amazing group of people! Elaine, Chloe and Ronnie joined us for a wonderful evening of food and friends. What a week! We will definitely need to start planning for their visit to Toronto. 
And Halloween is huge up here! Their house is the place to get the best candy and tricks in town! It's spooktacular!!! We all can not wait to be back - especially during Halloween! 

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Thursday Update

All in all it was a really great day for all of us. We've learned so much and met so many wonderful people. All of us could stay longer. We have been made to feel so welcome and like a part of the school. It will be sad to leave though none of us feel like it's coming to an end. In fact it really does feel like the beginning.
The 3D printer is truly up and running. Prinn has networked it so it can print from any computer in the school with the MakerPrint software installed. Detailed instructions have been written and gone over and a few more staff were trained on troubleshooting and managing 3D files. We printed about 10 student keychains today and there are another 40 to go! The students really picked up the technology quickly.  
Video students were taping all over the school today. They took some amazing behind the scenes footage of the kitchen which feeds all of the students a hot meal everyday. These students captured many amazing sights that only they could capture. These students really have an eye for camera work. 
In other news, students in PPC groups continue to connect with one another. The groups of about ten students each have jelled quickly, learned some communication skills fast and both surprise us and delight us with their openess, honesty and humour. It's evident that PPC is a great fit at Mikisew. These students are ready to talk. The best news of the day really is that there is a plan in the making to timetable the Positive Peer Culture program for next semester. Whooo! 
We also connected students from Downsview and Mikisew through Facebook video chat! Finally, our students got to say hello! Mikisew students even got to meet Downsview's principal Mr. Berto and VP Mr. Johnson (as well as the always amazing Ms. Joseph, Ms. Haines and Ms. D'Andrea). It's very exciting to make this live connection! We also plan to use it if there are any questions about the printer. 
Everything is coming together. 
The only things we can see that Mikisew needs immediately are video cameras and books! The library is in need of an infusion of new maternity rial. Some books are on the way but they need more.
Tonight we went for a little walk to the NorthMart and bought some frozen McCains Pumpkin Pie for dessert. I think we'll check out the arena and see if there's a hockey game now. Good night from Cross Lake! 



Going on all out for Halloween! It's feeling pretty creepy around Mikisew School! There's a haunted house in town we just might need to check out! 

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Organic and free range

Last night we were treated to a fantastic dinner at Ronnie and Elaine's place. Potatoes, turnips and carrots from the garden. Freshly baked bannock and moose meat!
These two quite enjoyed trying it for the first time. And of course it is all organic and free range! Ms. Prinn stuck to the delicious garden fare.
We are very thankful to have met such lovely people (and what great food too!)



We thought some of you might like to meet some of the dogs of Cross Lake. There are many dogs and if you pay attention to them they will try to follow you home. Here's some pictures!


Mikisew School ended early today and the afternoon was dedicated to a workshop for staff, starring us. 
We started the PD session in the gym with introductions and the news clip from CTV from our Orange Shirt Day. It was incredibly moving to be standing in the gym with all of these fantastic teachers who give so much to their students and community. It was really very emotional to be here and feeling this weird moment of arrival. We did it. 
They were very moved by the clips from the students of Downsview. One teacher came up to Lisa after and said how thankful she was for their very thoughtful and kind words and actions in making this possible. 
Garth then showed the awesome video that the students at Downsview made saying hello to Cross Lake and talking about how they feel about how badly First Nation, Metis and Inuit people are treated in Canada. This was followed by a video created from three workshops Mikisew students made over the last few days.
Lisa then did a brief presentation about the 3D printer informing staff about what it can do and letting them know that it's available for them to use. Many of the staff have been really exciting about it. Jeff's wood working class was in the lab today building houses in SketchUp. He is very interested in learning the new software and printing prototypes. Given how fast his students picked it up - we don't think he'll have a problem. They can totally get him using it in no time! 
Monica and Judi gave a wonderful introduction to Positive Peer Culture and even had staff participate in a model PPC group. There was a lot of laughter and clearly there is a nice vibe amongst staff members. They enjoyed the role playing and talking as they got the hang of the program quickly. They also showed great interest in exploring the possibility of offering PPC at Mikisew. 

Student key chains continue to be printed and we had a lovely little chat with some staff and students back in Toronto at Downsview!  

When in Rome

The best was today when this student was looking at a model of the coliseum that had been printed from the 3D printer and he asked, "What's this building? It seems familiar". 
Prinn goes on about the gladiators and slaves when the student says, "what's it used for now?" She says well it's a tourist spot that you can walk through and see the incredible architecture. Then he says "wait a minute" and pulls out his phone. 
"This is it, I knew it seeemd familiar" he then shows me a video of Metallica playing live from the colesium. 


Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Day 2 at school

Day 2. So amazing and busy with learning! Five full classes of students ranging in age from 14-19 making 3D models to print on their new 3D printer. We managed to print the first student designs today! They were so excited! 
Of course phones were out to document the moment! 

A few Mikisew students joined Ms. Prinn at lunch to say hello to Downsview students who were online during period 4. It was fun saying hello and introducing three Mikisew students! 
We had a packed lab all day today as students we're designing their own personalized keychains to print and keep. They caught on fast! Some students made a couple of different designs. 
The library is in need of new books. We have the first 48 coming up this week. The books are very dated and it really does need to be refefrwshed for a teen audience.

The video workshops went well with two more different groups of students. That said the students made a few more movies. 
Sessions in PPC continued today with the same students getting more in depth. 
We are really enjoying being here and appreciate the opportunity and learn from so many amazing teachers and students. A few of us were invited to smudge this morning before classes began and it was such a nice thoughtful way to begin the day. The sun rose at 8am and was just breath taking. Last night the skies put on another show as the Aurora Borealis light up the night sky with a dance of green whisps and waves of colour. 

Monday, 24 October 2016

Mikisew means eagle.

Day 1 - what an incredible day. Not knowing what to really expect it was an amazing day. Students reaction to the 3D printer ranged from
"What's that? That's cool"
To: "I've seen one of these on a cartoon once, cool. I can't believe our little town has one"
One student leaving the room after seeing the printer in action said "unbelievable" 
Of course it took a while to set up the printer and install SketchUp on the computers in their lab. So when one class came down and we were showing them pre-printed 3D objects a student just simple did not believe it. She said there was no way that was printed out on that machine. We can't wait to show her that it's all up and running tomorrow! Her classmates came down throughout the day to check it out though.
A science teacher was thrilled to learn that he could print the DNA helix as his were all broken and this was incredible! 
Overall it was an incredibly busy and wonderful day! It was nice to see the objects that Downsviw students had designed for Elaine and Anna brought out and being used as examples of things that Mikisew students could make. One student asked if she could make a guitar pick. Guess what we're making tomorrow? Guitar picks and keychains! 

The computer teacher at Mikisew was really quick to learn how to use the printer, changing filament and the plate with ease. It's funny because this is a much newer model then the one at Downsview. Ms. Prinn was learning, teaching and installing at the same. It all all worked out! Everyone at Mikisew was really excited to see the printer in action. More classes are coming to use it tomorrow. 
Garth had a group of students who shot a great little movie about the school, and learned to shot and record with a boom mic. They learned that booms should be held high (otherwise they can hit their subject in the head). 
Positive Peer Culture teachers Monica and Judi started the morning in the main hall creating a feelings a banner with  students. Two groups were set up and immediately got into the spirit of sharing. We look forward to seeing them grow over the next few days. Their candidness and honesty have paved the way for more in depth growth and communication for the week in ppc.