Study Canada Summer Institute

Due to Covid-related border closures the in-person Study Canada Summer Institute 2021 was canceled. Stay tuned for 2023 information. 

Keep up to date with upcoming virtual workshops and our rescheduled Institute by signing up for our quarterly newsletter.

Past Study Canada Summer Institutes

Study Canada Summer Institute: July 23–27, 2019

Transboundary Learning Along the Canoe Journey

Coastline of an island

During the Tribal Canoe Journey each year, Native Nations up and down the coast from Oregon to British Columbia paddle traditional ocean-going canoes and come ashore at designated journey sites following local welcoming protocols. The weeks-long event culminates in a large gathering at the final destination, where all canoe journey families gather together for a week of celebration and ceremony. Members of the public are invited to witness and support the Canoe Journey.

In 2019 the final site was on the lands of the Lummi Nation, near Bellingham, Washington – just south of the US-Canada border and in traditional Coast Salish territories that span the international Salish Sea.

The K-12 Study Canada program is based out of Western Washington University in Bellingham and our 2019 workshop this summer was held to coincide with and celebrate the transboundary 2019 Tribal Canoe Journey.

We began our 4.5-day institute in Bellingham, witnessing the first landings on Lummi shores. We also learned about the Since Time Immemorial curriculum and learning how to connect it to your classroom and school.*

We then traveled across the water ourselves (via ferry) to Victoria, British Columbia, for two days of learning with Indigenous educators to help us responsibly teach place-based and Indigenous history curricula, informed by recent curriculum changes as a result of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission process. Tours of the Royal British Columbia Museum and Provincial Legislature will also be offered.

Experiencing this cross-border event opened pathways to engaging Indigenous resources and teaching materials from First Nations-designed curricula in Canada and the US. The 2019 Study Canada Summer Institute participants learned from and with Indigenous educators from both sides of the border to deepen their practice of connecting with local lands and peoples, and responsibly teach about the places they and their students live.

Study Canada Summer Institute 2018: June 24–June 28, 2018

Settler Teachers and Indigenous Curriculum: Using Salish Sea and Canadian Resources to strengthen First Nations/Native American content in the classroom

How can non-Indigenous teachers best understand and teach Indigenous history and contemporary culture? Using best practices and curriculum created in BC and Canada, we will explore how to expand,  improve and responsibly teach First Nations curriculum in your classroom. Workshop materials will be drawn from the Since Time Immemorial curriculum in Washington State and curriculum changes in Canada in light of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s education recommendations.   There will also be experiential learning opportunities on Coast Salish territories, including an educators’ tour of the world-renowned Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, BC.

What did past participants think about “STUDY CANADA”?

“Any teacher who is responsible for covering Canada in their classroom should become a STUDY CANADA participant. The excellent presenters and resources will only enhance your knowledge of Canada. This is a 5-star program!”  – Kathie Morsette, CO (2015)

Why have so many American K-12 educators participated in STUDY CANADA?

The U.S. today faces unprecedented demand for globally competent citizens and professionals. To this end, U.S. Department of Education Title VI grants support language training programs and area studies, including Canada, so that students learn more about the world and transnational trends. The U.S.D.O.E.-designated Pacific Northwest National Resource Center on Canada offers the STUDY CANADA Summer Institute for K-12 Educators annually to provide American educators with an excellent foundation for teaching about our vital political, economic, environmental and cultural relationships with Canada. Important outcomes have always included gaining global perspectives of civic issues, receiving numerous resources for classroom use, and developing curricula that meet Common Core, C3 and state standards.

Program Information

“STUDY CANADA” is a renowned professional development program that provides American teachers with an excellent foundation for teaching about our northern neighbor and our important relationship. For almost 40 years, educators from across the U.S. have participated in the workshop to learn about core social studies topics related to Canada—such as geography, history, government, and economics—from university faculty and other experts. Cultural components include a series of unique learning experiences that reflect the ties that bind the U.S. and Canada as cultural cousins, political neighbors, environmental stewards of the continent, and as trade partners with strong ties to Pacific Rim nations. Important outcomes include the development of curricula that meets Common Core and state-based standards, gaining global perspectives of civic issues, and receiving numerous resources for classroom use


Primary Sponsors

The U.S. Department of Education supports the Pacific Northwest National Resource Center for Canada (Western Washington University and the University of Washington) with funding from a Title VI Program Grant.