Nestled in the heart of the Ottawa Valley, in Fitzroy Harbour, St. Michael School opened its doors in September of 1961. It continues to thrive to this day due to its strong sense of community and its ties to Constance Bay and the surrounding area. The school offers a high quality of education that strives to provide students with learning experiences unique to its rural location that will ultimately allow students to develop a sense of pride in their Canadian culture, and an understanding and appreciation for the natural world. The school cultivates partnerships that encourage students to make connections with the local, national and global community, by reaching out to individuals and groups using current technological platforms - bringing the world into the classroom!
Always looking for new learning opportunities, the grade 7/8 students eagerly responded to an invitation from David Reid to learn more about and be involved in the Bear Witness Arctic Expedition project. The enthusiasm and interest quickly spread to the rest of the student body and faculty. This opportunity presents a natural extension to the curriculum and enriches student wonderings and inquiry. The school’s desire to enhance students’ real world connections, and instill stewardship for the earth is at the heart of this partnership.
The Bear Witness Arctic Expedition will draw attention to a remote, fragile and threatened area of Canada that needs federal protection as a National Marine Conservation Area. Bear Witness also aims to recognize and celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation. Birthdays always spark excitement within every child so the school cannot imagine a more exciting and creative way of celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday than by joining David, Eric, Ingrid and Martin in their mission to circumnavigate Bylot Island on skis. The team along with the support and encouragement of the students will emphasize the rare and vulnerable beauty of the Arctic. The entire school community is looking forward to being with the team in spirit on this exciting adventure!
"There are many important parts to any expedition, one of the most being education. The Bear Witness Arctic Expedition will have a start and finish however the team believes the educational component of the expedition will (and should) last a very long time. Education and learning never stops.
It’s the responsibility of the expedition to have students and schools involved in the journey. Subjects such as culture, geology, geography, biology and history will all be touched upon as the team make their way around Bylot Island. Although relatively small, Bylot Island will help tell a much larger story about the threats and difficulties facing the entire Arctic region.
The Bear Witness expedition team is delighted to be teaming up with the Principal, teachers and students of St. Michael's School and to share the Arctic journey about to be taken."
St. Michael’s School, Fitzroy Harbour, Ontario