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

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

Activities for Engaging Your Community on Orange Shirt Day

Posted by Jasmine Wong on September 27, 2017

On September 30th, communities will be coming together for Orange Shirt Day to honour the children who survived residential schools in Canada, to remember those who did not, and to share in a spirit of reconciliation and hope.  If you are wondering what you can do this Friday, here are a few activities you can do (other than don an orange tee) with your middle or secondary students to engage them in the head, heart and moral being in honour of this day.

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Topics: Truth and Reconciliation, stolen lives

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

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, Truth and Reconciliation, stolen lives, Survivor Testimony

Learning to Teach about Reconciliation: A report from Facing History and Ourselves' 2016 Summer Institute

Posted by Jse-Che Lam on November 9, 2016

Stolen Lives: The Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the Indian Residential Schools is Facing History Canada’s latest resource. During August 2016, a number of teachers from across Ontario participated in a three-day summer institute in Ottawa to learn how to improve and enhance current teaching practices in relation to studies of the Indigenous Peoples in Canada and using Stolen Lives in their classrooms.

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Topics: CHC, CHG, Truth and Reconciliation, summer institute

Let's Play Ball: Recognizing Indigenous Territory at Blue Jays Games

Posted by Cheryl Payne-Stevens on October 14, 2016

It’s playoff time! Toronto is welcoming the Cleveland Indians for the American League Championship Series, and things are stirring on social media. Why hasn’t Cleveland changed their name? For years, they’ve been using culturally insensitive names; and as Canadians, we can no longer stand by the degradation of Indigenous culture and beliefs.

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Topics: News, Canada, trc, Truth and Reconciliation, Indigenous, Indigenous History

Path to Reconciliation: An Educator’s Journey

Posted by Amanda Scott on January 27, 2016

Bringing Indigenous Voices into the Classroom

In December of 2012, I visited the Woodland Cultural Centre and former Mohawk Institute in Brantford, Ontario for the first time. This visit had a lasting impact upon my understanding of the residential school system in Canada. Subsequently I asked myself, how could I further embed Indigenous history into my courses?

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Facing History Resources, History, Canada, Media Skills, Technology, Truth and Reconciliation, current events, Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy, Indigenous, Lesson Ideas, In the news, Social Justice

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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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