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Wilfred Buck: The Star Guy

Move over Bill Nye the Science Guy, and make way for Wilfred Buck, Manitoba’s very own Star Guy.

Buck is a science facilitator at the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC). He works with First Nations schools to bring an Indigenous perspective to teaching science. Buck, who is from Opaskwayak Cree Nation, introduces students to a whole new universe. He takes his mobile dome-shaped planetarium to communities to teach students about Cree constellations, such as Wesakaychak and Keewatin.

Wilfred Buck - Science Facilitator

Wilfred Buck – Science Facilitator

The portable planetarium inflates to approximately five metres in height and six metres in diameter, and can accommodate 25 students and staff comfortably.

“I take this around to the various schools and show the students that their people knew about the stars just as well as anybody else,” he says. 

What makes Buck’s lessons even more intriguing is that he shares star stories about First Nations, which he gathered from Cree, Ojibwe and Dakota nations. Students learn that it wasn’t just the Romans and Greeks who studied the stars. Buck helps them to develop an appreciation of First Nations mythology. 

“Everybody has their stories about the sky, because everybody lives under the sky,” says Buck. “Initially, that’s how we lived, by the sky and the objects in the sky.” Buck continues to gather these stories told by various Elders and knowledge keepers. He looks forward to the day when First Nations astronomy is as universally recognized as mainstream mythology. Learn more about Wilfred Buck in this video. 

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