A group of local youth were given an opportunity to delve into Alberta's diverse landscape across time, with insights from Stoney Nakoda Elders.

The ninth-grade social studies students at Bow Valley High School immersed themselves in the Alberta Tomorrow simulator, delved into narratives of the Stoney Nakoda community, and shared moments with two respected Elders.

"The Alberta Tomorrow simulator is an educational tool that helps you to understand the process of sustainable planning to balance land-uses such as agriculture, oil and gas and forestry with ecological integrity. By looking at past and present landscape imagery, you will be able to see changes that have taken place in the past. You can also collect, geotag and save water sampling data, images, video and other observations." Alberta Tomorrow. 

Executive Director with the Alberta Tomorrow Foundation Jennifer Janzen said the students were able to have meaningful conversations with the Elders, Margaret and Terry Rider. 

"Students asked them some pretty complex and interesting questions about what life was like on the reserve and how it's changed over time. The Elders talked about residential schools. They talked about the fact that they couldn't leave the reserve until I think it was 1965 without asking permission."

"The whole point of it was some of these students may have never spoken to someone from from Stoney Nakoda. So the Elders came into the class, we all sat in a circle and just had conversations and listened."

Alberta Tomorrow BVHS piloted the new Indigenous Voices Module of Alberta Tomorrow and had the opportunity to ask questions to two Stoney Nakoda Elders, Margaret and Terry Rider.

Janzen said she was impressed with how engaged the students were with the experience. 

"I was blown away and I think Craig Lucas, the teacher at Bow Valley would say the same thing. ​Just the first day when they started using the simulator, the questions, the side conversations that we could hear, were pretty amazing."

Alberta Tomorrow

The Alberta Tomorrow simulator is free to use and accessible to anyone who wants to use it. 

Janzen said it is used in classrooms across the province.