The Land Takes the Lead
Chloe Dragon Smith | Co-founder of BushKids
Watch This Presentation:
Chloe Dragon Smith shares a bit about her journey to founding Bushkids, an initiative to connect kids with the Land through the public school system. At Bushkids, the Land guides learning for all in an ethical space that celebrates both Indigenous and Euro-western approaches to learning. This way of being supports healthy relationships with ourselves, each other and the Land.
About the Speaker
Chloe Dragon Smith is a young woman born and raised in Somba K’é (Yellowknife), Denendeh (NWT), Kanata (Canada). Of Dënesųłiné, Métis, French, and German heritage, she grew up close to her Indigenous cultural values and learned traditional skills for living on the land. Her mother is Brenda Dragon, her father is Leonard Smith, and her grandmother is Jane Dragon. The women and men of her maternal lineage lived, harvested, ate, shared, struggled, loved, and died on the Land in the boreal forests of northern Canada. Her ancestors lived in relationship with caribou, travelling with the herds from areas around northern Saskatchewan and Alberta, through the NWT and what is now the community of Fort Smith (where her mother and grandmother were raised). They thrived on the land now allocated as Wood Buffalo National Park, all the way up to the treeline and the tundra. Chloe has learned most of what she knows from her family and her upbringing. She spent four years obtaining a B.Sc in Earth Science from the University of Victoria. While now also educated in western science, she has found her niche working with people to share the social/cultural benefits of the natural world, particularly where those values meet science and conservation. She is passionate about revitalizing Indigenous systems – self-determined systems of living, learning, management, economies, and governance. As a mixed blood person, she feels a constant responsibility to bridge barriers and help create balance however she can. She is the co-founder of an outdoor learning initiative called BushKids, located in Yellowknife. She does her best to get out on the land regularly with family, to keep her Indigenous world view and values strong and grounded through all she does.