When Kevin Lamoureaux from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (pictured, left) spoke to Greater Essex County District School Board educators at their Learning Beyond the Horizon summer conference, he reassured everyone that the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are not about guilt or shame or placing blame. He said they are a framework for reconciliation and essentially about education and awareness.
During the 2016-17 school year the GECDSB took an important step in committing to an Indigenous Education Protocol to make First Nations, Metis and Inuit education a priority for all students at all levels.
Throughout the 2017-18 school year that work continued. The Board's Indigenous Education Advisory Council oversaw the implementation of the seven principals of the I.E.P. One hundred and twenty seven students took a course in Native Studies at eight different high schools. A pilot was launched at Walkerville Collegiate Institute leading to the transition of Grade 11 English Literature to a new Contemporary FNMI Voices course, which studies the work of Indigenous authors. As well, 14 teachers were trained to deliver this course that is now being offered in four GECDSB high schools in the 2018-19 school year.
Non-teaching staff throughout the Board participated in professional learning, "Exploring the Past for a Better Future", which included a blanket exercise workshop (picture, right) to develop understanding of how colonization of the land we know as Canada has impacted people who lived here before settlers arrived.
The GECDSB also promoted community building activities such as the Frozen Over Moon Dance (picture, left) and a Pow Wow to celebrate our FNMI students.