George is a Yukon First Nations experiential adviser with the Department of Education with a passion for placed based outdoor education. George grew up in the rural community of Teslin but was not deterred by the bright lights of Whitehorse, and used his culture as a safe place to explore the world. He spent 20 years exploring (getting un-lost!) the planet from an airplane as a commercial pilot and remarks that his upbringing in the outdoors and sense of place was invaluable in his passed career (getting un-lost!). This same understanding of self and place allowed him to pursue a part time career in wilderness guiding, culture camps, and youth work this has led to many adventures here in the Yukon, Canada, and abroad, fortunately for GPS he finds himself at home here in the Yukon. Culture is at the center of his being and he maintains the family trap line, is a language learner, and is part of a First Nations dance group. George started his Education career with the First Nations Programs and Partnerships unit in 2012 where he works closely with other Curriculum and assessment colleagues, is co-chair of the Offsite Review Committee, and is chair of the First Nations Perspective Review Committee.
Others say ”He is a gentle and tireless leader in the true spirit of reconciliation, holding up and supporting non-Aboriginal colleagues, teachers and students to better understand Yukon First Nation perspectives, history, language and culture through his meaningful conversations, demonstrations, in-services and field trips.”
One of his students had this to say: “George is a man of passion. When he does something, it is with his heart. He has a lot of valuable knowledge that I had the pleasure of benefiting from.”
Breakout Session # 4: Place Based Aboriginal Education