Outdoor Education at Lilawagila School

May 25th-June 23rd, 2021

A̱ka̱la Society is partnering with Lilawagila School to deliver an outdoor education program. The program’s goal is to provide the students with the basic skills to stay safe on the land and waters. The lessons include:

Working as one unit – teamwork

This lesson will set the stage for all other lessons. Together the group will come up with an agreement on how we will experience the outdoors together showing each other, the land, the waters and ourselves respect. The concept of Maya’xa̱la will be discussed. This lesson will also lay the groundwork for how to stay safe in the outdoors.

Knots/Shelter building

This lesson will be centered on creating a shelter using only rope and a tarp. The students will learn three knots: bowline, clove hitch, and trucker’s hitch. Once they have a good handle on this style of shelter, we will start using other materials around us to build shelters.

Map/Chart Reading

Ever wonder what a topography map is? Or a marine chart? In this lesson we will discuss how to read a map and chart, and how to choose which map for what activity. We will talk about the importance of understanding who created a map and for what purpose. We will use this map to show how difficult it is to delineate traditional territories and how many overlap.


Compasses are one of the earliest human inventions. They continue to be a useful tool for wayfinding in the outdoors. In this lesson we will learn what a compass is, how it works, and how to use one. We will discuss the cardinal directions, and how a compass and a map can be used together.


Knowing how to identify various plants and animals in the outdoors can increase your enjoyment and provide increased safety. In this lesson we will identify some of the most common plants in the village and go for a walk looking for them. We may learn some dance moves along the way as well.


Tides have an impact on the flats of Kingcome. Knowing what the tides are doing will help make navigation, hunting, and fishing decisions. We will go over what impact tides, tidal effects on our environment and how to find out what the tide is doing. Where weather comes from and how the impacts route planning will be discussed as well.


Knowing how to build a fire is a very useful skill when exploring the outdoors. It can help keep you warm, cook your food and be a signal in case of emergency. In this lesson, the kids will learn the fundamentals of fire starting, including what type of material to use and how to start a fire safely.

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