White City Museum
Our town may be younger than your grandpa, but we’ve still got more history than he can shake a stick at! White City Museum is devoted to celebrating the intrepid spirit of our 1960s “settlers,” paying tribute to the First Nations Treaty 4 territory we’re privileged to live on, and offering a heck of a lot of interactive fun. From the interpretive trails of our ecomuseum to the audio recordings provided by our community elders, we offer visitors the story of our region, a tale of wholehearted passion, hard work and home.
For more information, email or call Councillor Rebecca Otitoju at 306-501-0744.
The White Butte Ecomuseum and gallery concept is being developed through the Town of White City. It is being considered for potential co-location at the future White City Town Centre. The White Butte Ecomuseum and gallery looks to the whole White Butte ecoregion for its cultural heritage content, including White City, Pilot Butte, Balgonie, Village of Edenwold and the RM of Edenwold.
The White Butte Ecomuseum Ecology Heritage Project gives students and teachers an opportunity to explore and discover natural features and wildlife on the prairie landscape. The experiential lessons include material on birds, pollinators, water quality, glacial rocks, mindfulness, and pasture management.
- The Curriculum Guide is organized into eight activities, each focusing on a different aspect of the land.
- Teachers work with the students to go through the activities, encouraging them to interact with the information, objects, and outdoor environment.
- Activities were created by University of Regina students and can aid in the delivery of the activities through the White Butte Ecomuseum.
- While some activities rely only on printed material, the majority include a variety of pedagogical approaches, as well as examples and specimens.
- As much as possible, this Curriculum Guide includes supplemental information and activity extensions related to the content of each activity.
THANK YOU to all the instructors, Nature Saskatchewan, the Greenall Outdoor Education students, EWCS, ERES and special thanks to Anna Hall for coordinating this year's program!
Dear community members!
From May 2 – 4, 2018, we had a remarkable event – the delivery of environmental science and sustainability lessons by Dr. Adela Tesarek Kincaid and a group of students from the University of Regina.
During the three days, students (Grade 4 and Grade 6) from École White City School were engaged in various learning activities to explore the local environment. They:
- Investigated and created mandalas* from materials found in nature;
- Investigated the interdependence of plants and animals, including humans, within the White Butte habitat taking part in a lesson on cow management on pastures. Beef cattle farming is a large industry in Saskatchewan. That is why it was so important to learn how to promote a healthy environment and how it is connected to the food production process;
- Learned about the factors that are causing climate change, and the difference between natural and human causes that are occurring around the world through an interactive game of tag during a lesson on Climate Change;
- Got insight of how precious water is, for Canada and for the world. During the lesson, students took samples from a nearby stream to assess odour and colour and to determine its quality, and discussed the implications of polluted water;
- Learned about common grassland birds while following a guided trip of the land, and encountering different ecosystems which are home to a variety of native birds.
After the lessons, students reflected on the experiences of their day by journaling. The days provided a truly experiential opportunity as the young explorers drew and answered questions about appreciating nature.
Overall, the school program provided the community with a great opportunity to participate in engaged learning while developing the students’ active understanding of themselves and their mindfulness of local nature. The project is expected to run again next year. These opportunities were made possible by continued partnerships between the University of Regina, the landowners, the Town of White City Museum Committee, Nature Saskatchewan, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum and by involving various volunteers and community members.
*Mandalas are circular, symmetrical objects that help us to connect to nature and cultivate mindfulness within ourselves by understanding our place in nature.
As part of the Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) 290AB, Ecomuseums: Sense of Place Course, Dr. Mary Vetter, and Dr. Glenn Sutter, Curator of Human Ecology at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, met with the White Butte Ecomuseum group in spring and summer 2015, and the whole class met with the community in September. The discussion in these meetings identified that interviewing long-time residents of the region and producing digital stories focusing on the interviewees’ personal history, community history, memories, and attachment to the region would be of immense help to the ecomuseum effort and would provide excellent learning opportunities for the students.
The community suggested names, and the students presented their work to the community in early December 2015.
By clicking on the 'Digital Storytelling' image below, it will take you to the digital stories produced by the students in the form of a story map of the White Butte Region where you can explore the area while listening to the stories.
The first digital story is from Anita Ring, who lives on a farm a few miles north of Pilot Butte. Anita grew up around Edenwold, the granddaughter of German immigrants who established farms and were expert brick masons. Using bricks from the old Pilot Butte brickyards, her forebears built many buildings around Edenwold and in the city of Regina, including Government House. Anita shares her experiences teaching school, farming, and volunteering.
Elder Norma Jean Byrd contributed the fifth digital story. She speaks of the critical importance of having children learn about and spend time in nature. She teaches Aboriginal culture throughout the Regina school system, leads field trips, and works with young people to help them understand and value their Aboriginal heritage.
The seventh digital story is from Lill Jardine. She grew up on a farm just east of White City and shares her memories of learning English to go to school, the Depression years, and the farm and all the buildings she and her husband built entirely on their own. Lill attended Pibroch School, which was moved into White City after extensive community fundraising and labour; it served as a community hall and now is a playschool. Lill has a small museum on the farm she and her husband built,and contributed many collections to displays in White City.
All of the interviewees have a deep attachment to the region, and each community has its own history and is valued. The interviewees hope that more stories of residents will be collected, preserved, and celebrated. Working together on common causes was a common theme in the interviews, and people were often wistful about times in the past when the community volunteered and played together. Interviewees expressed concern that heritage resources are at risk of neglect or even disappearing. They often referred to the beauty and diversity of the natural environment, and how some of that diversity is disappearing. All raised families here and consider it their long-time home; and they spoke of their deep ties to friends, family, and neighbours.
Adela Kincaid, a museum board member, is largely responsible for the creation and implementation of the project. Fellow museum board member Anna Hall will be stepping in to continue delivery of this project. This year the program will run from April 30 to May 2 on conservation land and will be presented to grades four and six students from ERES and EWCS. Greenall's Outdoor Education class will also be involved in spending an afternoon teaching the lesson.