Over 750 educators from across the province participated in the First Nation Education Steering Committees (FNESC) conference as they celebrated their 25th anniversary. Project of Heart BC was featured as one of the workshops and was met with much enthusiasm. A new initiative created by Sylvia Smith in support of Justice For Indigenous Women was shared as one of many possible social justice actions that teachers and students may participate in.
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Judy Dunn and Noreen Pankewich visited Rolynda Simpson’s Grade 7 class at Juniper Ridge Elementary recently to share the experiential education of historical treaty-making, colonization, and resistance of Aboriginal Canadians.
The Blanket Exercise serves to build awareness around social justice, and it also broadened the classes’ understanding as they begin their study of the novel, “My Name Is Seepeetza”.
Participants of the Blanket Exercise represent the distinct cultures/sovereign nations of Canada’s original First Peoples. As students move onto the blankets, they are taken back in time prior to the arrival of the Europeans. The size of the blankets is reduced and often eliminated; in the same way that Aboriginal lands/populations have been over the past few hundred years.