Walker Elementary School (Regina, SK) students of Christina Johns decorated tiles last year as their gestures of reconciliation. These were made into jewelry by Teachers for Justice, and are being sold to support the Justice for Indigenous Women campaign.
CTV News Regina: http://regina.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=527833
CBC News: http://www.cbc.ca/1.2896065
EVENT: Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women Symposium
March 24-27, 2015, University of Regina
Format: This 4-day event will include two panels from faculty on topics associated with Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women. The symposium will also include a student panel and a World Café Event.
The World Café (March 27 @ 9-3). This day-long event will encourage discussion, creativity, and action planning with individuals committed to social action. We imagine participation from members of the university community (staff, students and faculty) as well as the larger community of Regina and area.
Call for Presenters: Three 1-hour panels will be offered from March 24-26 (details below). Each panel will have 4-5 presenters. Each presenter will have 10 minutes to present. Presenters are invited to be creative (engage participants in an activity that you do in class; tell a story; offer a photo essay; or use power point or other tools).
Presenters will be asked to respond to one of the following questions:
- Panel 1 (March 24 @ 1pm): How are we teaching about
Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women in the Liberal Arts?
- Panel 2 (March 25 @ 11:30am):How are we teaching about
Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women in the Professional Programs?
- Panel 3 (March 26 @ 2pm): How are we learning about
Missing and Murdered Aboriginal women in our undergraduate and graduate studies? A student panel.
Responding to the Call for Presenters: Please send an email confirmation of your interest to present on a specific panel by February 27 @ 3 pm to the Executive Lead: Indigenization, Shauneen.Pete@uregina.ca
March 5-7, 2015
A youth to youth interactive forum exploring how to bridge the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in Canada. Hosted with Children of the Earth High School in Winnipeg, approximately 300 youth from across the country are anticipated to take part. The target age is for youth between the ages of 15 and 29.
For more information about registration, or presentation opportunities, go to http://canadianroots.ca/national-conference
Joseph Naytowhow, Cree knowledge keeper, storyteller, musician, and artist will be doing a residency at the University of Regina with the Elementary Program as part of PLACE. He will be at the U of R from January 26 to February 6 and will be located in ED 221.5. Joseph is knowledgeable with treaty, oral history, storytelling, protocol and much more. He is at the U of R to work with faculty, sessionals and students in the third year of the elementary program.
Presenter: Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Associate Professor, University of Alberta and Executive Director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
7:00 p.m. Education Building, Rm 106.1
University of Regina, 3737 Wascana Parkway, Regina, SK
There is a growing conversation about reconciliation in Canada and addressing contemporary inequalities and injustices facing First Nations children is a vital part of the conversation. Dr. Cindy Blackstock will examine how children and young people are working with First Nations to achieve equity and to uplift the country at the same time.
Refreshments follow the lecture. All are welcome.
For more information: http://www.uregina.ca/arts/public-lectures/lloyd-lecture.html
The Witness Blanket installation is now at the University of Regina campus (January and February). Instructors are invited to include topics of residential schooling in this winter’s courses. Please bring your students to view the display on the main floor of the RIC Atrium (between College West and the Laboratory Building). For additional information, view information below.
The Witness Blanket is recognized as a national monument that highlights the atrocities of the Indian residential school era. The installation honours the children’s’ lives and their legacies that were lost and untold within history. This profound installation has 887 pieces of artifacts that have been reclaimed from various abandoned residential schools, government buildings, churches, band offices, treatment centres, universities and ceremonial objects from across Canada. The artist, Carey Newman, states, “To bear witness is to show by your existence that something is true”. As a witness, you have the opportunity to become a part of the untold stories and to take part in reshaping the history of the Residential School Era.
The Witness Blanket will be showcased at the University of Regina in the months of January and February 2015. The installation is unsupervised and stands alone on the first floor of the Research and Innovation Centre (RIC). For further information about the project and artist, please see the following links below:
- Witness Blanket website: https:// www.witnessblanket.ca
- Witness Blanket video: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-witness-blanket
- Artist Carey Newman interview: http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2014/10/06/witness-blanket-recalls-tragic-chapter-of-canadian-indigenous-history/
To create a foundation of knowledge for the residential school era, a suggested resource is the movie “We Were Children,” which gives first-hand account of personal experiences survivors endured while attending residential schools. Another resource is an episode of 8Th Fire called “Sacred Heart Residential School,” depicting the personal impacts of the disconnection children experienced from their communities and the hardships faced while in residential school. To view these videos and for further information, please see the following websites:
- We Were Children: https://www.nfb.ca/film/we_were_children
- 8Th Fire- Sacred Heart Residential School: http://www.cbc.ca/8thfire/2011/12/painful-legacy.html
To further the opportunity for learning and discussion about the experiences of the residential school era, I invite you to have an open discussion about student perceptions and reactions to the installation. Here are some questions for debriefing:
- What knowledge did you have prior to viewing the Witness Blanket?
- What did you learn from the installation?
- What resonated with you the most?
- How do you plan on facilitating the conversation about residential schools and the experiences of the children that attended?
The UBC Faculty of Education is delivering a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), a free 6-week course title “Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education” beginning January 27, 2015.
Please use this link to access the webpage:
For further details, please watch the related YouTube video:
The University of Regina Aboriginal Advisory Circle will be hosting the Witness Blanket exhibit January 5 – February 27, 2015
This large scale art installation is inspired by a woven blanket made from hundreds of reclaimed items from Residential Schools, churches, government buildings and traditional and cultural structures including Friendship Centres, band offices, treatment centres and universities, from across Canada. The Witness Blanket stands as a national monument to recognise the atrocities of the Indian Residential School era, honour the children, and symbolise ongoing reconciliation.
For more information see Witness Blanket page
Article from Moose Jaw Express, July 18, 2013
Moose Jaw has been privileged in a special way. In a partnership between Prairie South School Division and the MJ Museum and Art Gallery, Moose Jaw was one of the first places in the country to host the exhibit “100 Years of Loss”, an exposition of the history and legacy of the Indian Residential Schools in Canada. Most recently, Moose Jaw was one of four cities in Canada chosen to coordinate Project of Heart, a second venture related to residential schools. The other locations were Vancouver, Winnipeg and Ottawa. In Saskatchewan, Project of Heart is about tiles and a drum. A First Nations drum was built by Jeff Cappo from the Lone Creek Drum Group. In the first phase of the project, students throughout the province were invited to decorate tiles to place on this drum. The tiles commemorate the children who died in the residential system. The tiled drum was unveiled at a Powwow in Moose Jaw on June 5th. Indian Residential Schools operated across the country from 1890 to 1996.
In 1920, the “Indian Act” made it mandatory for aboriginal parents to send their children to these institutions, and in 1931 enrollment was at its peak. Over the “100 Years of Loss”, approximately 85,000 children died in the system. Saskatchewan students have decorated 2000 commemorative tiles. Project of Heart was a national venture with local ramifications. Isabelle Hanson is president of the Wakamow Aboriginal Community Association and Vivian Gauvin is the vice-president. They were appointed to the Saskatchewan Regional Advisory Committee for the project. Gauvin is also First Nations, Métis and Inuit Consultant for the Prairie South School Division. Hanson and Gauvin coordinated the effort to collect the tiles from all over the province for placement on the drum. The wrap up for the project was at the end of June. Throughout this last year, Heather Miller taught a Native Studies Course at A. E. Peacock Collegiate. She had 26 students, and included in their program was intentional research on Indian Residential Schools. At the end of this course, four students were selected to make presentations before the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat in Regina. The Secretariat adjudicates cases of physical and sexual abuse within the residential system. Seven people made the trek to Regina: Isabelle Hanson and her daughter Leslie, Vivian Gauvin and the four students selected from the class at Peacock – Alia Baigent, McKayla MacQuarrie, Desire Meriam and Seth Schmaltz. Isabelle has a Master’s in Educational Psychology, and she is also a residential school survivor. She talked about how strict it was at the school she attended. “We all had a number and it was put on our clothing. We had to do things perfectly; we had to sleep a certain way; we were not allowed to be children. We were punished severely if we spoke Cree or practiced any of our customs. I had to go to church twice on weekdays and three times on Sunday. We were really Christianized. Even though I had boy cousins at the school, I wasn’t allowed to see them or speak to them.” Leslie, Isabelle’s daughter, talked about her desire to teach others about her culture, and to this end, she has just been accepted into the Saskatchewan Native Teachers Education Program at the Gabriel Dumont Institute. The fours students from Peacock said they were shocked when they learned about the cruelties of the residential system. They were ashamed that a country like Canada created and perpetuated this injustice. McKayla MacQuarrie said, “It is not a question of who is responsible for the past. It is about our responsibility for what happens next.” Alia Baigent always attended the same schools as her twin brother. She said, “I can’t imagine never being allowed to speak to him.” Two internet You Tubes were included in the Moose Jaw presentations. “Shannen’s Dream” has to do with the quality and equality of education on reserves, and this is the social justice piece of Project of Heart. The Wab Kinew Soap Box debunks aboriginal caricatures. Members of the Secretariat were moved by what they heard. Brad Kennedy, Hearings Manager Officer said, “I really appreciated the perspective of these young people.” Julia Rex said, “I can see the immportance of remembering and spreading the word.” Lorraine Lemiski is Manager of Adminsitration for the Secretariat, and she helped coordinate the Regina event. She commented on the experience. “What we have heard here reminds us of the importance of what we do.”