Finding the Words to Speak After Trauma: Remembering Donia Blumenfeld Clenman

Posted by Jasmine Wong on May 27, 2019

In the Aftermath Project, director Sarah Terry reminds us that war is only half the story:  "To be fully informed, we have to know the stories of post-conflict."  It is in these stories, "where we are constantly redefining what it means to be human, what it means to live again, to rebuild civil society, to recover from trauma.  If we don't know these stories, then we don't really understand the world we live in, and we will repeat history again and again and again."  Through her poetry, Holocaust survivor Donia Blumenfeld Clenman conveyed some of these essential stories of the aftermath of genocide.  With clarity, humanity and gentleness, her words connect us to her struggles, and teach us what it means to face - and recover - from trauma. In the month of her passing, we remember her legacy and honour her words.

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Topics: Poetry, Survivor Testimony, Judgement and Legacy, difficult conversations, Holocaust History in Canada

My Reflections on Canada’s Apology for the MS St. Louis

Posted by Leora Schaefer on November 15, 2018

As part of a Facing History and Ourselves course, educators and students reflect on the power of apology. These apologies are often examined within the context of transitional justice. In Canada our students explore the apology given by the Canadian Government for their role in the establishment of Indian Residential Schools. In advance of a close reading of this apology, students and their teachers consider moments in which they have either given or received a meaningful apology.

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Topics: Holocaust, Survivor Testimony, Holocaust Education, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, apologies, Holocaust History in Canada

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

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

Settler Educators Teaching Indigenous Perspectives and History

Posted by Angela Nardozi on May 29, 2017

My name is Angela Nardozi and I am a guest on Turtle Island (what we now call North America), with both sides of my family originating in Italy. I grew up in Markham, Ontario, where I attended Catholic Elementary and Secondary schools. I am a certified teacher, and have spent time living, working, and researching in a Treaty Three First Nation, and my experiences there have propelled me on the path to learn more about Indigenous perspectives on history and current events, and the history and present of colonization on Turtle Island.

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Topics: Survivor Testimony, Residential Schools, Truth and Reconciliation, Indigenous History, stolen lives, settler educators

Apathy to Action: Survivor Testimony kindling students' hopes for Reconciliation

Posted by Kristen Drury on April 18, 2017

In order to pursue a conversation about reconciliation in my classroom, and to ensure that my voice as a non-Indigenous teacher does not become louder than the survivors, I constantly strive to include Indigenous voices in my classroom. I want my voice to amplify Indigenous voices, not speak over them, or for them. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity through Facing History and Ourselves to have Theodore Fontaine share his experiences with the Canadian Residential School System in my Challenge and Change Grade 12 University class.

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Survivor Testimony, Truth and Reconciliation, stolen lives

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