Building bridges of understanding during Religious Studies course
June 21, 2019
King’s students, faculty and alumni will be embarking on two experiential learning trips as part of the Religious Studies 2351G-Inculturation and Spirituality course this summer. Designed for students in the Catholic Studies for Teachers program, Social Justice and Peace Studies and the School of Social Work, Inculturation and Spirituality is a full semester, three-credit course at King’s that explores Canada’s history with Indigenous people from colonization to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Each trip will last two weeks and will include students from King’s and Western University, University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto and Laurentian University in Sudbury.
The first trip, led by Father Michael Bechard, the Director of Campus Ministry at King’s, and accompanied by Dr. Benjamin Muller, Associate Professor with the Department of Political Science, will leave for Fond-du-Lac, Saskatchewan on June 26. The first trip will see 25 people heading out including 19 from King’s. A second trip, led by King’s alumni Jacqueline McKernan ’13 Political Science will travel to Wollaston Lake, Saskatchewan, in August with six students from King’s.
The trips will allow students to meet and form relationships with local Chiefs, elders and members within the Indigenous communities.
“It is an opportunity to build bridges of understanding as part of our commitment to embrace the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” says Father Bechard. “Past participants have shared that these trips help them to see themselves, their country and the call to work for peace and justice in a new light.”
Participants from King’s will share in a spiritual pilgrimage with the people from the local communities, while also sharing in such things as hunting, fishing, beading and other indigenous practices.
The trip is made possible through the King’s travel bursary available to King’s students and through other fundraising efforts of Northern Bridge Community Partnership (northernbridge.org). Additionally, funds have been secured to employ Beth Wilson, entering her third year in BA Honours, Honours Specialization in History, Minor in Political Science, Danielle Rivest ’18 Catholic Studies for Teachers and Patrick Lange ’19 BA Honours Specialization in Catholic Studies for Teachers and a Minor in Geography, to run a summer camp for the two communities for three months.
To learn more about Religious Studies at King’s, please visit https://www.kings.uwo.ca/academics/religious-studies/