This past June, a group of Corpus Christi College students and faculty traveled to the Northwest Territories on a second, annual mission of friendship and encounter with local First Nations groups. This unique service learning trip is an optional field-study component of a Corpus Christi credit course called “Social Justice and Peace Studies: Aboriginal Faith and Culture”.
Lasting two intense weeks, the trip featured long road trips since many of the villages are scattered hours away from each other. Along with visiting and encountering several First Nations communities, students undertook service projects such as painting the outside of a local church and helping out at the “Side Door Ministry”, a youth centre in downtown Yellowknife. “We had to quickly adjust to the climate and protect ourselves from swarms of mosquitoes and horse flies, but, apart from a few bug-bites, what stayed with us were memories of the lives we touched and the unique people we encountered,” said Brenna Maduro, one of the participating students. “Although we discovered more about ourselves, we also came back with a better understanding about aboriginal faith and culture and what’s at the heart of service – that it’s not just about serving people, but serving with people,” said Brenna.
Photo from mfsdiocese.org