Algoma University’s was bustling last week as 40 Aboriginal students from across Canada participate in the 2016 First Nations Inuit Youth Employment Strategy (FNIYES) National Aboriginal Science Camp – Sault Ste. Marie, sponsored by Indigenous and Northern Affairs.
Students aged 12–15 from various provinces, who have demonstrated a keen interest in science and technology, took part in this one week camp. The camp helps First Nations and Inuit youth gain employment skills while also introducing them to new career paths and opportunities.
Students participated in a sacred fire ceremony with an elder and a visit to the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre to learn about the history of the Shingwauk and Wawanosh Residential Schools. As part of this experience the students participated in Project of Heart and created wooden tiles as a gesture of reconciliation.
Earlier this week 38 students Grade 10 students from Central Algoma Secondary School in Desberates, Ontario visited Algoma University to learn about the history of residential schools in Canada, the Shingwauk Indian Residential School, and Project of Heart.
The day opened with Survivor Mike Cachagee speaking with students about his experience attending three residential schools. The students also spent time with Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre staff, and took a tour of the historic Shingwauk Site and participated in hands on reconciliation activities including Project of Heart.
Within the native spirituality unit for the grade 11 “World Religions” class, the students at École secondaire catholique Jeunesse-Nord in Blind River, Ontario discovered the history and the impact of the residential school system in Canada for First nations people of the pass and of today.
By listening to survivor’s testimonies and watching the documentary We were children, the group was overwhelmed by the injustice and abuse that occurred within these schools.
By creating the commemoration exhibit, the students hope to share their knowledge of the residential schools to their classmates and friends.
Earlier this week students from White Pines Collegiate and Vocational School in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario visited the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre.
During their visit the students spoke with residential school survivor Mike Cachagee, toured the historic Shingwauk grounds, and learned about truth and reconciliation in Canada.
The students also had an opportunity to decorate Project of Heart titles as a gesture of reconciliation.
As someone who does a lot of work with students (of all ages) to teach them about residential schools I am always looking for hands on learning ideas relating to Indigenous history.
The Blanket Exercise Workshop developed KAIROS is a “teaching tool to share the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.”
The Exercise teaches Indigenous history and invites participants to take on the roles of Indigenous people in Canada through an interactive learning session. Standing on blankets that represent the land, they walk through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. Participants are directed by facilitators representing a narrator and the European colonizers.
The Blanket Exercise website includes resource and edu-kit materials for both adults and children. It also includes guidelines for educators wishing to facilitate their own workshop. A great resource for those looking to introduce a hands on activity to teach about Indigenous history in Canada.
In January 2016 Crystal Fraser guest edited a series of Indigenous history posts for ActiveHistory.ca.
The posts explored questions such as: What are the implications of sharing our research? How can we convey to readers that these are not ‘controversial issues’, but our lived experiences? What role should my own community play in my research? Where do I, as an Indigenous person, fit into academia – a system built and maintained on white privilege and settler colonialism?
This series of posts is a great resource for educators looking to learn more about Indigenous history and culture in Canada. The complete series can be found here.
Recently students from Central Algoma Secondary School (CASS) participated in Project of Heart during a visit to the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre at Algoma University.
As part of their visit to the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre the students learned about the former Shingwauk school, took a historical site tour, listened to Survivor experiences, and participated in hands-on learning activities.
The students also had a chance to see the Project of Heart: Children to Children Art Installation by artist and residential school survivor Shirley Horn at Algoma University. The students also decorate their own Project of Heart tiles as a gesture of reconciliation while reflecting on the residential school legacy.
As part of Huron History Day: An Active History Pre-Conference for High School and First Year Students Krista McCracken from the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre facilitated a workshop on Archives and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The workshop introduced high school students, teachers, and undergrad students to the legacy of residential schools. It emphasized a discussion of the impacts of residential school, the important of listening to Survivor experiences, and introduced participants to the Project of Heart.
Participants left with information about Project of Heart and the suggestion that they take what they learned back to their own communities, families, and classrooms. We look forward to seeing how their own Project of Heart projects develop in the coming months.
Some of the most common questions we hear relating to residential schools education are: Why should we teach children about the history of residential schools? And how do we teach children about residential schools in a classroom setting?
Ruby’s Story, written as a blog post by âpihtawikosisân discusses the experiences of a present day First Nations student in Grade 2 when she decided to focus on residential schools for a class assignment.
Ruby’s Story is an excellent example of why it is important to learn and talk openly about residential schools at all education levels.
The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto recently released a list of teacher resources relating to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
This list compliments the residential school resource list previously compiled by OISE. The residential school resource list includes suggestions of books, videos, websites, and news articles for a variety of ages.
The newly developed reconciliation resource list is divided into three sections: articles, reports, and education resources. It includes background information on the TRC, cultural genocide information, youth voices on reconciliation, and suggestions of classroom activities. The bulk of the information is geared toward high school and upper elementary school grades.
Educators planning activities around reconciliation might find the Kitchen Table Dialogue Guide, Community Action Tool Kit, and Reconciliation Dialogue Workshop Guide particularly useful.
The complete reconciliation resource list can be found by clicking here.