Traditional Skills Training Centre

The Willmore Wilderness Foundation has developed a Traditional Skills Training Centre which focuses on training participants in skills that will support the educational tourism sector of hiking, trail riding, guiding, and outfitting. The programs offered will result in a tourism draw to Grande Cache, as courses in traditional skills training will be offered to the public. This training will also help build capacity in the region, specifically in the guiding and outfitting sector.

During past years the Willmore Wilderness Foundation has had participants in their programs from Grande Cache, Hinton, Edson, Grovedale, Grande Prairie, Debolt, Mayerthorpe, Edmonton, Ontario, Arizona, Germany, and Jasper National Park staff. The Willmore Wilderness Foundation expects to expand their reach by offering courses at the Traditional Skills Training Centre. Participants will stay at local hotels, eat at local restaurants, and visit local businesses in Grande Cache.

The Traditional Skills Training Centre will prepare participants to work in the tourism and hospitality industry. The Centre will deliver courses that focus on teaching traditional skills, in order to host visitors who, want to experience Willmore Wilderness Park and the surrounding region. The Centre will focus on courses that will teach participants in serving domestic markets through traditional employment, and/or self-employment. The program participants will receive instruction and mentorship from experienced Elders, outfitters, guides, trappers, Master Horsemen, trail cooks, farriers, First Aid teachers, and chainsaw safety instructors. Courses will be taught by a diverse roster of skilled instructors, Elders, mountain men and women.

The traditional courses will cover many topics including discussions about the changing landscape in the educational tourism industry. Participants will be introduced to guest speakers, audio visual presentations, tours, and hands-on experiential training. Building capacity in the guide and outfitting industry is critical to building a vibrant educational tourism industry in Willmore Wilderness Park, Municipal District of Greenview, and surrounding region. The Traditional Skills Training Centre will be an excellent venue to encourage teamwork, and networking where students will learn though practical hands-on sessions.

Potential Courses include:

  • Horsemanship Clinics – Classroom Portion
  • Starting Colts – Classroom Portion
  • Basic Farrier Courses – Classroom Portion
  • Diamond Hitch Courses – Packing Clinics
  • First Aid and CPR
  • Chainsaw Safety
  • Wilderness Cooking
  • How to prepare Pack Boxes for Pack Horse
  • How to Properly Saddle a Horse
  • Horse Safety
  • Best Bits for Horses and Tack
  • Knot Courses: How to Tie a Bowline and Other Knots Used on The Trail
  • Information Courses on The Trail Network, River Crossings and Wilderness Safety
  • Wilderness Survival
  • Humane Trapping
  • Wilderness Health and Wellness
  • Film Festivals will be hosted at the Traditional Skills Training Centre.