Westgate CVI’s KZ Lodge Celebrates New Fire Pit

Students from Ms. White’s Ojibwe Language Class in the Kendomang Zhagodenamnon (KZ) Lodge program enjoyed the sunshine while preparing and cooking bannock on a stick around the new fire pit in the outdoor learning space at Westgate CVI. Four Directions graduation coach, Linden Waboose, shared that, “being around the fire gives students an opportunity to connect with each other; friendships are being made around the fire”.

Students from the KZ Lodge program started the project last year. Ms. Harding, the teacher of the KZ Lodge program, said it has been a true collaborative effort to bring this new learning space to life. In the spring, Elder Gerry Martin visited the space to smudge and prepare the grounds for the teachings that would be shared there. With the direction of KZ Lodge students from last year, former Westgate CVI student Jacenia Desmoulin designed the artwork for the fire pit frame which depicts the Seven Sacred Teachings in Anishninaabemowin (Ojibwe Language) and a symbol representing the animal connected to each Teaching. Students from Mr. Lemieux’s metal shop class built the frame and other construction technology classes are working on building tables and benches. There are plans to continue to develop the outdoor learning space with students and community partnerships to include a medicine garden and outdoor learning lodge.

Lakehead Public Schools’ new Strategic Plan and Indigenous Education Framework reflects the Board’s commitment to walk alongside Indigenous students, families, and partners to support Indigenous learners to help all understand the truth of Canadian history and move forward together in reconciliation. To learn about the Strategic Plan, click here.