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National Wildlife Week

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Nature surrounds us, from parks and backyards to streets and alleyways. Next time you go out for a walk, tread gently and remember that we are both inhabitants and stewards of nature in our neighbourhoods.”                 – David Suzuki

National Wildlife Week is a chance to recognize our own biodiversity and celebrate the incredible wildlife we have right here in our own backyard! National Wildlife Week empowers Canadians to strategize on how to conserve the habitat of our unique wildlife, while discovering how these natural wonders impact us in our daily lives. National Wildlife Week connects conservationists from all walks of life in an attempt to truly understand how we can enhance and protect our environment.

National Wildlife Week takes place during the week of  April 10th each year. This event was officially proclaimed National Wildlife Week in 1947 by Canadian Parliament in honour of the birthday of the late Jack Miner, a Canadian conservationist who was often regarded as the “father” of North American conservatism. He was given the nickname of “Wild Goose Jack,” as he was responsible for being one of the first conservationists to  determine the migratory paths of North American birds, while also being credited for helping to save the iconic Canada Goose from the brink of extinction.

We celebrate National Wildlife Week because it is our responsibility to protect the Earth’s natural resources and its inhabitants. This includes wildlife and their natural habitat. Canada is home to wetlands, boreal forests, and holds up to 20% of the world’s fresh water. We are extremely lucky to have a country that is filled with beautiful landscapes and beautiful creatures. Wildlife in general is vulnerable to human interference and it is through celebrating National Wildlife Week that we are able to acknowledge their vulnerability and find ways to educate the masses on why protecting keeping wildlife safe is a necessity. Our wildlife performs vital tasks for our environment, and it is because of their natural care-taking that we are able to sustain our climate and land. By acknowledging their vulnerability and understanding their key role in protecting our environment we are able to gain a bit of empathy for the world around us. We learn what it means to respect each other and our surroundings. We begin to think as Global Citizens. We can learn to appreciate the little things and not take the world around us for granted.

Everyone can participate in National Wildlife Week since collective participation is necessary in order to preserve our natural habitat. When we take a moment to appreciate the wildlife around us, we begin to realize that we all have the ability to create a positive impact on our environment, which leads to the protection of our local wildlife. Indigenous people have been the stewarts of this land since time immemorial and it is our responsibility to look to them for advice on how to become conservation leaders! In fact, the Government of Canada is currently working with Indigenous leadership groups to help achieve Canada’s Biodiversity goals.

You can celebrate National Wildlife Week at home in your own backyard, your local community, and of course at Trickster’s favourite place, your school! Learning about wildlife and their ecosystems is a valuable part of protecting them from human interference and this process of knowledge-sharing can take place in the classroom, between peers, or in your community through public campaigns and other nature-inspired quests.

You can celebrate National Wildlife Week in many different ways! You can celebrate individually by planting trees, reflecting on your consumer habits and your own carbon footprint, or by cleaning up litter in your community. You can also donate to wildlife organizations that are currently attempting to beat climate change. You can also strive to learn more about wildlife and why they are important to our environment by reading books or watching movies and finding ways to share this knowledge with your peers. Need some help figuring out how to share what you learned? Solidify your learning by participating in Trickster’s theatrical activities!

One size does not fit all

How you and your school decide to use the suggested activities, performances, and resources will depend completely on what you and your peers are comfortable with, and the time you have available to designate to the project(s). Trickster is also available to consult with if you would like extra help, resource connections, and/or coordination. You can go big, involving every class with different projects, performances and events throughout the school, or, you can go as small as just doing an activity listed in the materials for your own class which you believe will help them connect to the subject matter. 

Due to the circumstances of COVID19, not everything suggested will be possible, and many will need to be adjusted to suit your needs and comfort level. As we hope to carry this forward, and know that schools are looking to future projects much further down the road, we do want to plant the seeds for what those event days might look like too. There will be suggestions throughout on how you can modify activities for social distancing, but you are also able at any point to choose and modify activities and projects to achieve the level of safety your school is comfortable with.

Why Teachers Love It

Our residency was a unifying and motivating experience that we used as a way to begin our year long inquiry about children’s rights.

— Lisa McConnell, Teacher, North Haven School, Calgary

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