Teslin students win contest after making website on Tlingit culture and language

Students in Teslin, Yukon, won a field trip to Manitoba after winning a contest with Parks Canada.

Teslin Community School entered the Coolest School Trip contest, which asks groups to submit a photo essay about an activity they did that helped the local environment, or present local history and culture.

Grades 5, 6, and 7 students at the school submitted a photo essay about a website they built which shared about Tlingit culture — and won.

"They were ecstatic. They did not stop smiling for the rest of the day," said Erica Keenan, teacher for Grades 5-7 at Teslin Community School.

The website promotes the Tlingit language. Keenan said the students did all the research, talked to local elders, translated prayers or songs like O Canada into Tlingit, and wrote about activities like button blankets.

"They essentially did everything for it," said Keenan. 

Keenan said even people from Florida are viewing the students' website and leaving messages about it.

"We're trying to share the website with the world."

Teslin Tlingit Language

They will travel to Manitoba in June and visit national historic sites like Lower Fort Garry and the Riel House. They will also get a chance to "camp out under the stars" in Riding Mountain National Park, according to a Parks Canada news release.

Keenan said most of her students have never been on a plane before, so the trip is exciting for them.

"They're already asking me who they can sit with on the plane."