Land-Based Healing in an Urban Setting

Dennis Franklin Cromarty (DFC) High School is an urban private First Nations school in Northern Ontario, Canada. The school’s mission includes the desire of parents and Elders to have students develop a strong sense of identity in the distinct languages, culture and traditions of the Anishnawbek. Since opening, there have been several tragic student deaths that resulted in an inquest. As part of the healing process, the school now includes land-based education and an extensive Elder’s Program. Land-based education strengthens intergenerational tribal knowledge and pride in students. Both educational approaches contribute to positive identity, increased self-esteem and higher retention rates.