The students in Social Justice 12 at Tamanawis Secondary in Surrey, BC, have garnered National attention with their recent Project of Heart commemoration efforts. The Student’s learned about the history of the Indian Residential School System in Canada before embarking on in-depth research into the Coqualeetza Lake Indian Residential School in Sardis, British Columbia. The class examined the history of the school as well the traditions and customs of the Sto: lo First Nation who mostly attended the school. We uploaded our research to missinghistory.ca as well as registered our class as 1 of 1000 Conversations.
The Unit culminated in the designing of our 50 commemoration tiles and 6 survivor cards as well as a brief look at the current funding issues concerning Reserve Schools. The Students wrote letters to their local Member of Parliament, Jinny Sims, outlining their understanding of the current conditions at Reserve Schools such as the one on the Attawapiskat First Nations Reserve. Ms. Sims was so impressed by their concerns and will be meeting with the students in the new year before making a statement in the House of Commons; using their letters in her statement. The entire experience has been a phenomenal one for the students, the level of their inquiry and engagement was inspiring. As a student teacher the success of this unit was tremendous and has been replicated with other classes within the school already.