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Paddle to Bella Bella and earn college credits through LEAF School

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Students at the LEAF School (Learn and Serve Environmental Anthropology Field (LEAF) School) in Lynnwood, Washington can earn up to 12 credits by completing a “Community-based research project.” This summer the research project is the “Paddle to Bella Bella, British Columbia for the 2014 Tribal Canoe Journey.”

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The LEAF School is a division of Edmonds Community. It partners with Native American groups, government agencies, non-profits, and businesses to engage students through service-learning and community-based research in the hands-on application of traditional environmental knowledge to modern problems.

At the core of the program is a series of courses in human ecology and archaeology. Typical projects include supporting tribal canoe journey, traditional food revitalization, habitat restoration, ethnobotany, road ecology, wildlife tracking, archaeological and culturally modified tree surveys.

The LEAF School is a year-round program offered in partnership through Edmonds and Everett Community Colleges. The human ecology courses, ANTH 201-203, typically meet on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each quarter of the year. Summer quarter features special events like Tribal Canoe Journey that combine components of the archaeology and human ecology sequence.

Students are encouraged to join local canoe families and the green team on the Paddle to Bella Bella. Two options are available, either half or the full journey.

Students enrolling for half of the journey will earn five credits in the human ecology sequence and two credits in the archaeology sequence. Students enrolling for the full journey will earn ten credits in the human ecology sequence and two credits in archaeology sequence.

Activities along the journey may include ethnobotany, wildlife tracking, museum visits, experimental archaeology, camp logistics, driving, composting on the Green Team barge, traditional food preparation, pulling in tribal canoes (when invited), observing protocol, riding in support boats and potlatch support.

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