Fees & Visit Planning
School day program cost is $8.00*/student for one program
Additional programs are $5.00*/student
Please plan on 2 1/4 visit hours at the Museum for a one-program day, or 4 to 4 1/2 hrs for a 2-program day.
Weekday (2 hr) evening programs are $10.00/participant (15 participant minimum payment)
*Fees are as listed above unless otherwise noted below. There are no additional taxes on education program fees
1 adult admission (including teachers) for every 8 students is included at no additional cost.
Trappers and Traders
An immersion in fur trade history that students will always remember. Dress up in period costume, trade in the trading post, bake bannock, tie tumplines, handle Voyageur paddles, and visit the Encampment in this day-in-the-life of a Voyageur experience! Our staff, in character as “bourgeois”, facilitate first-hand, hands-on experiences of the stories, language, navigation, trade items, portaging practice, period food and fur-handling in the context of the First Nations', Metis and European relationships at the core of the fur trade.
Traditional Knowledge and Skills
A cross-curricular program that explores First Nations’ oral culture, traditional knowledge and skills through storytelling, artifacts and creativity. Students gather knowledge from primary and secondary sources in our collection about the watercraft of the indigenous peoples of different regions of Canada, and work in small groups to share their findings through drama, puppetry and more. A traditional Micmac tale told in the Voyageur encampment inspires an exploration of storytelling as a way to share knowledge, and students each create an artifact to help them carry the story home.
Path of the Paddle
Please note: This program is NOT available for Overnight or Evening programs.
Explore environmental stewardship, traditional fire-making and human interaction with the land. Students engage with exhibits throughout the Museum galleries via a scavenger hunt that inspires discussion and problem-solved about their role in environmental stewardship. Outdoors, students learn fire safety and try their hand using fire bows, char cloth, flint and steel, working cooperatively to create fire.
Fur Trade Game
Duration: 105 min
After we lead a brief program introduction to elicit students’ current knowledge about pre-1710 Fur Trade era and to initiate the inquiry process, the students will engage in a group role play game. Working in small groups, students gather, analyze, record and communicate information about the Fur Trade and its significance for First Nations and European participants and engage in trading knowledge and goods with a “trading post clerk” and a “First Nations trapper” and with each other for Aboriginal goods and services. This activity includes hands-on exploration, evaluation and analysis of reproduction trade goods (of both European and First Nations origins) as well as study of different primary sources – maps, text and images -- in the Museum’s Galleries. Working in small groups of four to six (depending on class size), students will communicate their findings both orally to program leaders, and in the writing activities required to complete the game.
While targeted to the grade 5 curriculum expectations, we can modify this program to emphasize and extend grade 7 and 8 history links. This program makes a great combination with Trappers&Traders or Traditional Knowledge and Skills.
What do you know about Arctic life today? Discover and dismantle common misconceptions about how Inuit people live their day-to-day lives and explore continuity and change in traditional Inuit cultures in this fun and supportive program. Includes Inuit games, small group inquiry-based learning, and a scavenger hunt!
Decoding The Arctic
Want to know how to write your name in Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit? Students explore the language, the people, and traditional and contemporary lifestyles of the Arctic. A map-based activity sends students throughout the Museum’s galleries for clues to understanding and communicating in Inuktitut. Students also get a chance to play a variety of traditional Inuit games.
A stimulating hands-on initiative task. Students work with pre-cut parts to build an eight-foot skin-on-frame kayak, based on an Inuit craft in the Museum’s collection. Students are introduced to the idea of kayak-building as a community task in traditional Inuit cultures where different members play distinct and crucial roles. Working collaboratively in small groups, the students problem-solve to discover the building method and order of operations that works best for their group and project. A challenging program that promotes team-building and an understanding of Inuit cultures
Paddle Carving 3 hrs, $13/student
Carve a 24” paddle out of poplar! Students will learn to shape the paddle using a traditional spokeshave tool. They will learn to sand the paddle down until it is silky smooth. Students have a beautiful souvenir to take home and treasure. They will also have learned all the skills necessary to make a full-size paddle in the future. Through a hands-on gallery activity the students will also learn the parts of a paddle. They learn the correct paddle sizing and hold. Students also learn to identify the paddle blade shapes suited to each water environment.
A hands-on experience of soapstone carving! The majority of the time of this program is hands-on carving (with sandpaper), starting from a 2x3 inch soapstone blank, but we introduce the students to the context in our Arctic Gallery to provide meaningful context, exploring the Inuit cultural tradition in the Artic environment through our kayak collection and related hands-on artifacts. A 30-minute grade 4 Rocks&Minerals activity is an optional add-on.
Whether your students are new to watercolour painting or would like to further develop their skills with the inspiration of our Galleries and instructors, this program provides a unique and stimulating artistic setting that promotes close study of the traditional indigenous watercraft, artifacts and shape and form. Depending on the interests of your students and/or the cross-curricular links desired, we can modify this program to emphasize art in the environment, First Nations arts, or environmental activism and canoeing.
*Food and drinks not included.
The ultimate Museum experience! Arrive just before 6:00pm for an adventurous evening of learning. Features any two programs from the list above, plus an indoor campfire full of songs and stories and time for an evening snack before 'camping’ in the Museum’s Voyageur Encampment and/or Wigwam. Departure in the morning by 8:30am. *Add a morning program to further enrich your students’ Museum visit experience ($5/participant)
See pdf flyer linked at the top of this page for more details.
Voyageur Paddling Program
4 hours, $25*/student (includes soapstone carving)
*Program only available May 20 to October 1.
Take your class to the beautiful and historic Otonabee River. Take part in 2 learning-packed, hands-on programs: Voyageur Canoeing and Soapstone Carving. Students have the unique experience of paddling a 26′ North Canoe or canot du nord. This stunning cedar-canvas canoe is a replica of a canoe used in Canada’s Fur Trade era. Students learn about Voyageur history and First Nations’ roles in the Fur Trade through story, role play, song and costume. Back on shore, students will explore the tradition of soapstone carving.
On-water programming is staffed by ORCKA and Bronze Cross- certified instructors; PFDs are worn at all times. A copy of the Museum’s Risk Management Policy is available upon request.
Optional: Watercolour painting can be substituted for Soapstone Carving.