Balancing the Responsibility to Disrupt and Decolonize with the Reality of my own Whiteness

Posted by Dr. Debbie Donsky on April 23, 2019

A Response to: Leading Disruption & Decolonizing Our Institutions: Facing History & Ourselves

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Topics: Truth and Reconciliation, Indigenous History, Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy, Indigenous, difficult conversations, trc, stolen lives, settler eucators, Treaty, Sacred Circle Teachings, Decolonizing Schools, Facing Canada

Remixing Facing History and Ourselves For Middle Years

Posted by Jon Sorokowski on March 21, 2019

Ever since attending my first Facing History and Ourselves workshop, I have looked for ways to incorporate Facing History pedagogy into my middle-years classroom. This year, I used the scope and sequence and pedagogical triangle to design the structure of my Grade 8 English Language Arts course.

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Topics: Strategies, Book, English, stolen lives, Reading List, Decolonizing Schools, Facing Canada, cross curricular teaching and learning

The Road to Equity: How do you define equity?

Posted by Amy Smith on January 28, 2019

 When I moved away from being a classroom teacher to the role of Instructional Coach I knew my passion was in equity work. In Peel we have a five year School Success Plan with one branch of focus dedicated to equity and inclusion. Within the equity and inclusion branch of the plan there are four communities identified as a focus for teachers to gain additional knowledge about in order to better teach and support those students to learn and be successful in Peel schools. The four groups are: students who identify as a part of the LGBTQ+ community, First Nation, Metis and Inuit students, black male students, (this year the focus shifted to all black students) and students living in poverty.

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Topics: Teaching Strategies, Teaching Resources, Teachers, Indigenous History, Book, difficult conversations, stolen lives, settler educators, black history, Equity in Education, Poverty

Get Ready for Orange Shirt Day With Us

Posted by Alysha Groff on September 21, 2018

Join us as we have a conversation with Lorrie Gallant, the Education Program Coordinator for the Woodland Cultural Centre (formerly the Mohawk Institute Residential School) about how survivors experience Orange Shirt Day, and what true engagement on this day can look like from education and beyond.  
This  interactive online video conversation is intended for Facing History and Ourselves educators to listen, to learn, and to share ideas and questions.
Date: Monday, Sep 24th.
Time: 3:30 - 4:15 PM EST

To join from your computer, tablet or phone, go to https://facinghistory.zoom.us/j/668270809 (you will need to download a Zoom app or program so give yourself 2 minutes to do so)
Or Dial in by phone:  +1 647 558 0588
Meeting ID: 668 270 809
No RSVP is required.
We hope you can all join us!
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Topics: Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy, Community Event, Grade 10 History, CHC, trc, stolen lives, settler educators, Equity in Education, Decolonizing Schools, Orange Shirt Day

Taking Steps Together: One Year after the Decolonizing Schools Project

Posted by Jasmine Wong on June 14, 2018

In spring of 2017, five high schools from across the GTA participated in “Decolonizing Schools Together,” a project started by Facing History and Ourselves’ Canadian office in consultation with Traditional Ojibway Grandmother, Kim Wheatley, Shkoden Neegan Waawaaskonen,of Shawanaga First Nation. Recently, we spoke to Kim and to the teachers who supported students through the Decolonizing Schools Together Project to share their reflections and progress. 

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Topics: Grade 10 History, HSB, CHC, trc, stolen lives, settler educators, Equity in Education, Decolonizing Schools

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

"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: English Language Arts, Residential Schools, Truth and Reconciliation, English Classroom, stolen lives, 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: Teaching Strategies, Residential Schools, HSB, CHC, difficult conversations, trc, stolen lives, facing history pedagogy, settler educators, Treaty, Sacred Circle Teachings

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

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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 Canada, and invite you into the discussion.

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