Students Thrive with Land-Based Learning

Hammarskjold High School, together with the Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre, continue to offer the opportunity for Indigenous youth to receive a gentle transition into the mainstream high school setting. The specialized land-based Alternative Secondary School Program called Kendomang Zhagodenamnon Lodge, also known as KZ Lodge, offers support to students, and includes educational programming related to Indigenous land-based learning and life skill building. The program fosters critical thinking, culture, and technology, all while encompassing real-world connections and career plans.

KZ Lodge provides programming to students in grades 9 and 10 and have recently expanded to periodically include students in grades 11 and 12 who are working towards earning credits in Peer Leadership and Cooperative Education. Students work towards a bundle of secondary school credits, such as English, Green Tech, Indigenous Art, Indigenous History, and Geography. In addition to this, the students receive training on many land-based topics, including canoe instruction and certification, hunter safety training, Great Lakes fisheries and ecosystem management, forest fire training and certification, and many more. The training concurrently ensures the understanding of The Seven Grandfather Teachings: The guiding principals of Love, Honesty, Humility, Courage, Wisdom, Respect, and Truth.

Kendomang means Knowledge, Zhagodenamnon means The Seven Grandfather Teachings, and Lodge means a place where we meet.