Experiential Learning Program


What are the course details?  

University students from across Canada are invited to participate in a winter course, Inculturation and Spirituality (RS 2351G), offered by King's University College at Western University, in London, Ontario.  It is a full-semester, 3-credit course usually held on given Tuesday evenings from 5:30-7:30pm (EST). 

Non-local students are invited to participate virtually through various on-line platforms, such as Adobe Connect and Zoom.

What is covered in the course? 

The course aims to inform students about some of the spiritual and cultural realities of the north as well as to offer them an opportunity to travel to the north and live within indigenous communities.  Topics include; the history of colonization in Canada, identity and personhood, trauma and resilience in First Nations, inculturation and the Catholic Tradition, and global examples of other truth and reconciliation movements.  The course will also prepare students to complete their final project which includes working with indigenous youth in the north during the summer experiential learning trip.  

Do students have to be registered at King’s? 

No, a simple process of transfer credit can allow a student from any Canadian university to participate in the course for credit.  The process is very simple and any questions on the process can be directed to Michael Bechard at Michael@NorthernBridge.org or at michael.bechard@kings.uwo.ca

Approximately 75 young adults have been part of this course over the past five years.  

It is best to welcome 2nd and 3rd year students since the final project is over the summer and grades are not submitted until after commencement.  Graduate students are also welcome if their studies are congruent with the course.  

Once permission is granted, King’s receives funding from the sponsoring institution of the student.  

Are there other expenses involved?   

The cost of the summer trips is quite expensive.  Depending on the location of the trip, the cost for food, accommodations, insurance, and flights can range between $3,000-$4,000.  Many universities have funds available through their experiential learning program that can be used to help off-set the trip costs for their students.  We encourage the use of these funds.  We also have very generous donors who believe in this program and want to see it continue.  

We also want the students to be invested in this experience.  We ask that the students contribute up to $1,000 towards airfare.  Donors will cover the balance of the expenses.  No student should decline to enroll in the course and participate in the trip due to finances.  Contact us to learn more.  

What are the locations of the summer trips?

Our group has been part of gatherings on the shores of Lake Athabasca and in the communities, which call the Great Slave Lake their home. Additional trips are in development.

Trips usually take place between the end of June and the middle of August, to coincide with local indigenous pilgrimages in the area.


How Do I Learn More?

Jacqueline McKernan, Program Manager  |  877-606-6784  |  Jacqueline@NorthernBridge.org