[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (HSCDSB) proudly recognized the rededication of Camp Korah at its Board meeting last night. Camp Korah has been renamed the St. Kateri Outdoor Learning Centre.
The rededication ceremony saw participation from both local First Nations and included traditional drumming and dancing, a smudging ceremony by students from the Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program and a blessing from Deacon Noel ‘Skip’ Jones.
The change in the facility’s name honours St. Kateri Tekakwitha, who is also known as the Patroness of the Environment and Ecology, the Lily of the Mohawks, and the first North American Aboriginal saint of the Catholic Church.
“For quite some time, I have felt that the name “Camp Korah” did not reflect our Catholic identity. To me, the title was not recognizable as part of our Board. I felt we needed a name that would reflect the Catholic nature of our Board, students and teachings, rather than the area township,” said Trustee Leslie Cassidy-Amadio.
“The new name better represents the Catholic nature of our Board, the contributions of Aboriginal people and the beautiful setting of the camp,” added Cassidy-Amadio.
“I am very pleased with the Board’s support of this name change. The name, St. Kateri Outdoor Education Centre, is very appropriate given the native traditional teachings of respect for Mother Earth and all creation,” said Trustee Elaine McDonagh.
A committee studied the renaming of the facility in the spring after a motion was presented to the HSCDSB Board of Trustees by Cassidy-Amadio. Trustees unanimously supported the committee’s recommendation and passed the motion for the name change at their June 11, 2014 meeting.
The St. Kateri Outdoor Learning Centre is home to the Board’s Eco-Edventure Program which allows secondary school students an alternative learning experience in an outdoor wilderness adventure setting. The centre also hosts elementary students from most grade levels throughout the year providing a variety of educational opportunities during the fall, winter and spring seasons. These opportunities include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, orienteering, and hiking on groomed trails.