Our Grade 8 class recently partook in a team building exercise which consisted of collecting poles, stripping them and assembling the school tipi.

On Friday, September 14th, 2018, the grade 8 class at Moosonee Public School left the school and got on a bus going towards the quarry. When we neared the quarry, we drove past it, we drove past the dump, past a little creek and towards the hydro station.  When we got to the station we got off the bus and unloaded everything. As Daryl, Mark, Mrs.Ross, and Mrs. Atlookan were unloading the bus, half of the class decided to go for a walk. We walked for about 20 minutes just looking at trees and talking. While walking, someone in our class ran up to us and told us we had to go back. We started walking and met up with our teacher. We went back and listened to Mark and Daryl talk about what trees are the right size. Mark and Daryl both cut down the trees and it was the students’ job to get it back towards where we would meet the bus. While moving them back, the boys and girls decided to have a race, carrying the trees. It was first one back towards where the rest of the poles were. The boys won. After that, we had a fire. We roasted marshmallows and weiners. We ate roasted marshmallows and hot dogs. We also played hide and go seek, we went to a little creek and a few students explored the outskirts of the hydro station. When we got back on the bus, we unloaded everything on that bus and started to strip the poles. We got through one before it started to rain, hard. After it started to rain, we had to go inside the school. That was the end of our first day.  

– Karyn G

September 17th was the day when we started stripping the bark off our tipi poles. We used a  sharp scraper tool to cut the bark. Every student had a turn skinning the bark off the poles, but then it started raining. We were not really bothered, so we kept cutting/skinning. We were making, good progress till the rain just got out of hand, it started raining harder so we had to go in. The next day, we worked on the poles;instead of going as a class we went in groups. There were 5 groups of 6 and we each took 20 minutes to strip poles and talk about our goals in life and just had a great time. On our last day of stripping poles we had 4 poles to strip; it was the same thing as we were doing the last time with 5 groups of 6 for 20 minutes each. This time we weren’t out there for that long because we were working hard to strip these poles to put our tipi up for everyone to see what we accomplished and how beautiful it looked. After 30-40 minutes we finished, so now another day we would actually work on putting it up and have a nice fire with popcorn and hot dogs in our new tipi.  

– Thaden S


On Friday September 21, at 2:15 the grade 8 class went outside in the front of the school to start putting up the Tipi. Daryl and Mark  were showing us how it was going to go up and how it was going to eventually come down.

Firstly, Daryl layed out the tipi canvas on the ground. Then he got some of the boys to bring 4 tall poles and lay them down angled in a triangular shape, so he could tie the poles together, so we could then pull it up. Before we  put the other poles on. Daryl gave us orange strips of plastic table covers so we could tie them on some poles for Orange Shirt Day, to honour residential school students. After the poles where tied some people lifted the poles up so we could pull the canavsa out from under the poles. Then girls grabbed the rope and when he said pull we had to pull the rope so the boys could straighten out the poles. Then after we straightened out the poles some of the class brought the other poles in so we could put them on the other poles so it would actually look like a tipi. After all the poles were standing we put the canvas over the poles. After the tarp was all straightened we threaded the two ends of the canvas, so it stayed together. All that was left to do was have a fire to celebrate building the tipi.

On  Friday September 28, 2018, the grade 8 class went out to the tipi to  have a fire. The grade 8s were the first ones to use it. Mrs. Ross was great in setting this whole thing up.  She was there in the tipi when we got there to give us a speech on how well we did and how it was the first time in the history of MPS that a grade 8 class made a tipi; she was very proud. After her speech she handed a talking stick around for people to say how they liked it, no one talked; we just kept passing it along.  After that we had a fire and roasted marshmallows. We also had stove-top popcorn, it was so good. After that, Mark gave us a speech because Daryl was out hunting. This whole experience was amazing and the grade 8 students really enjoyed it.

– Amberlyn H