June is Indigenous History Month but it is my hope that we are always aware of the Indigenous people around us. Some of us may not share the same experiences in life, but whether you are Canadian or Indigenous or both, we have a shared history, from different perspectives.
We are all treaty people, and it is important that we understand the role and significance of treaties and our responsibility to these important agreements. Across Canada, treaty days offer opportunities for celebration, teaching and improving our understanding of treaties. In Ontario, this takes place during the week of November 1-5.
In preparation for this week, we have worked with educator Andrew McConnell (Anishinaabe/English, member of Nipissing First Nation) to publish a list of resources to support you with your learning and planning.
June was Indigenous History Month. Throughout the entire year, we recognize how important it is to be striving towards meaningful inclusion of Indigenous histories, knowledges, ways of being and contributions.
We sit with renewed sadness for individuals and communities who have been impacted by residential schools as we mourn the loss of the 215 children whose remains were found buried at the Kamloops residential school. Our hearts are with the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation as well as Indigenous children, communities and families across Turtle Island.
This is a time for a collective and national mourning. It is a time for acknowledgement of the ongoing work of survivors’ families and communities for truth, remembrance of loved ones and justice. It is a time for renewed calls for truth seeking, truth telling and collective action.
This video is the first part in a four part webinar series featuring Jasmine Wong in conversation with Lorrie Gallant.
This series of blog posts explores stories and teachings that Lorrie Gallant shares about the purpose and importance of territorial acknowledgments and treaties. They are based on a recorded webinar from March 18 2020. Lorrie is a writer, illustrator, storyteller, visual artist, educator, Expressive Arts Practitioner, born and raised on Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Ontario.
These posts and activities have been written for students to explore as part of a virtual learning community.
If you have ever travelled to Brantford Ontario Canada, you might have been excited to visit the home of Alexander Graham Bell to learn about the invention of the telephone. You might have come for a hockey tournament and had the privilege of meeting Hockey Legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter, who loves hanging out at the rinks. You may have picked up brochures with beautiful pictures of the Grand River or did research about Joseph Brant, who was the negotiator between the Mohawk and British during the American Revolution. But you might not know that Brantford is the home of the first residential school in Canada; that the building still stands with the names of children carved into the bricks and that it is one of the few residential school buildings still standing in Canada.
For the past few years, my school community school community at St. Joseph’s College School in downtown Toronto has recognized October the 4th as a day to honour the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirited People. Since 2017, our school community has worked collectively to use art and activism to spread awareness around this day in hopes of creating change. This is an important issue to us; being a school for girls and young women, gendered violence resonates particularly with our student population.
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As your school commemorates Orange Shirt Day this year, we hope these 5 resources and teaching ideas will equip you to teach your students (and colleagues) about Canada's Residential Schools, and inspire and empower students to create a meaningful response.
On March 31st, 2019, Facing History and Ourselves in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Ontario partnered with Durham District School Board, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, Peel District School Board, Toronto District School Board, Toronto Catholic District School Board and York Region District School Board to host a day long educator conference to discuss ways educators and institutional leaders have worked, and can work to decolonize and Indigenize education.