A Cross-Curricular Approach to Reconciliation in Education

Posted by Amy Smith on May 14, 2018

How do I promote equity and inspire social justice as an educator when I’m not in a social studies or humanities classroom - or in a classroom at all? This was the question that both shifted and drove new passion into my work this past year as an Instructional Coach. Stepping out of the classroom this year was a transition. I was really missing the opportunity to inspire equity and social justice as I had in my classroom. As teachers requested my support, most often with math, I found myself starving for activism and ways to get involved in equity and inclusion beyond academic instruction. Then I went to a meeting that shifted my thinking, and gave me new insight into how I could continue to pursue equity and social justice no matter what the subject.

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Topics: Equity in Education, Truth and Reconciliation, stolen lives, Sacred Circle Teachings, Inquiry, Social Studies, Indigenous teachings in math

"The Truth About Stories Is, That's All We Are": The Stories We Share In Our Classrooms

Posted by Lori Parkinson on April 9, 2018

This fall, after a suggestion from Jasmine Wong from Facing History and Ourselves, I decided to explore The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative, by Thomas King with my grade 11 English students. I was familiar with the text but it would be the first time I would be using it in my classroom. When I was in school we were rarely encouraged to be critical thinkers and we certainly were not encouraged to seek out the stories that make up our land. My goal was to learn with my students and explore and make connections. I was going to use the idea of the Oral Story as my jumping off point.

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Topics: Residential Schools, stolen lives, Truth and Reconciliation, English Classroom, English Language Arts, settler educators

Helping Teachers to Be Conscious Allies: Honouring and helping heal Indigenous (and non-Indigenous) students

Posted by Dr. Pamela Rose Toulouse on March 23, 2018

Dr. Pamela Rose Toulouse, associate professor in the Faculty of Education at Laurentian University, 3M National Teaching Excellence Fellow and author of Achieving Indigenous Student Success, and Truth and Reconciliation in Canadian Schools frames the role educators can play as allies to Indigenous (and non-Indigenous) students and shares with us several key resources for how to do so.

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Topics: settler educators, facing history pedagogy, trc, difficult conversations, CHC, HSB, Residential Schools, Treaty, Sacred Circle Teachings, stolen lives, Teaching Strategies

Federal Government Invests in Building a Better Future through Facing History

Posted by Gillian Aitken on March 5, 2018

 We are pleased to announce Facing History and Ourselves’ ambitious expansion plans to affect large-scale social change. Over the next three years, we plan to double the number of educators we engage with across Canada and strengthen our innovative work with middle and high school students to create a more informed and engaged citizenry.

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Topics: Department of Canadian Heritage, Inter-Action: Multiculturalism Funding Program, French Resources, Facing History and Ourselves, Facing History Resources, facing history pedagogy

Introducing Indian Horse with the Tracks of My Life Project

Posted by Luke Bramer on February 27, 2018

Students love music so, when I tell my grade 11 College English classes that they are going to be creating CDs as their first project, students get excited. Inspired by Facing History’s approach to teaching about genocide, I started the “Tracks Of My Life Project” to engage students in exploring the concept of identity that is foundational to our first novel, Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese.

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Topics: Residential Schools, trc, Truth and Reconciliation, Indigenous History, English Classroom, Music, Identity, stolen lives

Joseph Boyden - a teachable moment in identity

Posted by Leah Mauer on February 22, 2018

In my grade 10 Canadian history class, I often used excerpts from Joseph Boyden’s Three Day Road to explore what life was like for soldiers during WWI. In this novel, protagonist Xavier Bird returns to Northern Ontario in 1919 after fighting in France and Belgium. He is met by his aunt Niska, an Oji-Cree woman, and the two travel back to their village. On this journey, the two recount traumatic experiences from their past - Xavier as a soldier returning from the front and Niska as a survivor of residential schools.

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Topics: trc, Indigenous History, Indigenous, stolen lives, settler educators, difficult conversations, CHC, Grade 10 History, Book, English, big paper, English Classroom, Truth and Reconciliation, Canadian History, Canada

What happens when we empower students to explore their history this black history month

Posted by Alysha Groff on February 12, 2018

What happens when we support and empower students to bring history and identity into our school community? Meet Nyjah, a Toronto-area student who wanted to see more black history and contributions reflected in her high school, and decided to do something about it. The following interview was contributed by Nyjah about her experiences.

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Topics: Freedom Riders, black history, little rock 9, race, Race and Membership in American History: Eugenics

Grappling with Stories of Violence from Canada's Indian Residential Schools: Educator Workshop and Film Screening

Posted by Jasmine Wong on February 5, 2018

 Join us on Sunday February 25th for an educator workshop and special film screening with Director Susan G Enberg and Louis Knapaysweet, an elder and survivor of St. Anne's Residential School.

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Topics: Residential Schools, settler educators, facing history pedagogy, workshop, Survivor Testimony, Film, stolen lives, trc, difficult conversations, CHC

Understanding What Genocide Means

Posted by Stephanie Corazza and Jasmine Wong on January 29, 2018

A collaboration between Facing History and Ourselves and the Azrieli Foundation's Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program, first posted on Azrieli Memoirs' Blog page.

Words referencing mass atrocities of the past, such as fascist, racist, Nazi, genocide and Holocaust, carry deep historical meaning, yet these words are often misused in reference to contemporary events. Using these words too casually not only diminishes the meaning of the words themselves, but also diminishes the events that the words represent.   In this blog post, we look to remember the meaning of the term genocide and the conditions that drove a lawyer named Raphael Lemkin to coin this term to describe a horrific crime — a crime that prior to 1944 lacked a name and legal repercussions.

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Topics: Azrieli Foundation Memoirs, Grade 10 History, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanities Course, genocide, Survivor Testimony

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Posted by Alysha Groff on January 16, 2018

 

On January 27 - the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau - the United Nations General Assembly and its member states commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day.   On this day, (indeed every day) we remember the victims of the Holocaust and remind ourselves of the importance of teaching and learning about the Holocaust for the prevention of future genocides.   Here are few blog posts that highlight a variety of approaches to teaching this important history.  We hope these will inspire and assist you as you prepare for this day of remembrance and learning.

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Topics: Anne Frank, Grade 10 History, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, Holocaust Education, Holocaust, international holocaust remembrance day, Middle School, HSB, CHC, Inquiry

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This is where Canadian Facing History and Ourselves teachers and community members meet to share reflections, scholarship and teaching practices that will inspire, challenge and improve teaching and student learning. Our stories provide a window into diverse Facing History classrooms in Ontario, and invite you into the discussion.

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