During the 6-year mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), all Canadians were asked to reflect on the historical treatment of Indigenous peoples in this country. The TRC interviewed thousands of survivors and others affected by residential schools. 94 Calls to Action were issued by the TRC calling upon all Canadians to re-imagine their relationship with Indigenous people. Number 62 speaks to our work as educators in Canada: We call upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, in consultation and collaboration with Survivors, Aboriginal peoples, and educators, to: i. Make age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, Treaties, and Aboriginal peoples’ historical and contemporary contributions to Canada a mandatory education requirement for Kindergarten to Grade Twelve students.
– National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
The Ontario Ministry of Education has been working on fulfilling this call to action and later this school year, curriculum requirements will come forth. On Friday December 1st, the Avon Maitland District School Board will start taking steps towards Exploring the Truths to Move Towards Reconciliation during a Professional Activity day.
The Learning Goals of the Professional Activity Day are to:
- To increase knowledge and awareness of Indigenous cultures, histories, traditions, and perspectives and enhance capacity to support Indigenous learners and non-Indigenous learners more effectively.
- To engage with local Indigenous communities, and/or organizations to explore the successes and challenges experienced by Indigenous learners.
- To learn about incorporating culturally appropriate pedagogy and content knowledge to support all students’ achievement, well-being, and success.
The PD day was split into two segments. Half of the group gathered at the Festival Theatre in Stratford to listen to a presentation by the keynote speaker Niigaan Sinclair. Dr. Niigaan Sinclair is Anishinaabe, originally from St. Peter’s (Little Peguis) Indian Settlement near Selkirk, Manitoba, and is an Associate Professor and current Head of the Department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. The presentation was broadcasted live on our Facebook page and is available to watch below:
The other half started their day at Stratford Northwestern, where they attended a variety of different workshops and presentations each with a various thematic focus such as:
- The World of Storytelling
- Integrating Indigenous Content into the Curriculum
- Deconstructing Stereotypes of Aboriginal Peoples
- A Journey into Rainbow Moccasins
- Cultural Competency
The Avon Maitland District School Board would like to extend a sincere thank you for everyone who helped make this day possible.