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Minecraft Education introduces students to traditional ecological knowledge and practices of coastal First Nations

The launch of "A Pacific NW Coast Experience" was created in consultation with the kʷikʷəƛəm First Nation

Microsoft Canada is excited to launch a new world in Minecraft Education, in partnership with the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nation and the School District 43 (Coquitlam) Education team. The new world, titled A Pacific Northwest Coast Experience, is part of our ongoing commitment to delivering experiences that center around and benefit underrepresented communities by highlighting diverse creators and content.

The in-game world aims to increase awareness of coastal peoples’ unique perspectives and artistry by having students travel to assist a coastal community to prepare for winter through sustainable harvesting practices. Players will develop an understanding of indigenous traditional ecological knowledge, focusing on the interconnectedness of all living and non-living things.

Through the game I can feel really connected to my own lands and to my own culture when I see this game coming to the point it has. [The new world helps students] realize the diversity of the land itself, the richness of how much our people really relied on the resources that were around us, but also how we were able to utilize it and to share with one another and all cultural teachings about being conscious of resource gathering. – Nancy Joe, a member and cultural advisor for the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nation

This new Minecraft world allows students to engage in immersive, digitally enhanced learning that opens up access to places and people beyond their existing worldview. Students can explore a holistic learning environment at their own pace to build meaningful connections with local First Nations and their traditional practices through a STEAM lens. – Elka Walsh, Learning and Teaching Lead, Microsoft Canada

Minecraft Education is a game-based platform that inspires creative, inclusive learning through play. Educators from across the globe use Minecraft Education to connect students’ passion with purpose and find activities that engage them across multiple subjects.

The launch introduces four exciting and educational activities that students can explore:

  1. Cedar: The Tree of Life – Learn the tree of life story and discover why Cedar is revered, and the protocols for thanking the tree for its invaluable gifts. After giving thanks, sustainably harvest bark and enough planks to craft a bentwood box.
  2. Salmon Gillnetting and Smokehouse – Understand the incredible importance of salmon, learn about the First Salmon ceremony and how the gillnet provides a sustainable harvest.
  3. Plants – Dig camas and gather salmonberries, learning the importance of taking not what you can, but what you need, leaving berries for the birds and bears and ensuring successful camas crops in the future.
  4. Culminating Build – After completing the harvest tasks and learning from knowledge keepers you meet on your journey, take what you have learned and build your own village up the coast.

Download Minecraft Education A Pacific Northwest Coast Experience today:

  • If you already have Minecraft Education installed, find A Pacific Northwest Coast Experience content in the lesson library or direct download here.
  • If you don’t have Minecraft Education, download here for a free trial.
  • A Pacific Northwest Coast Experience is available now in Canada. For more information visit: here.

A Pacific Northwest Coast Experience represents teachings that were shared through consultation and collaboration with the kʷikʷəƛəm First Nation. Please reach out respectfully to your own local community(s) for process, protocols, and teachings.