2017 Annual Report
Meaningful reconciliation engages young people in learning about Canada’s history of colonization, thinking creatively about the future, and providing them with opportunities to make a difference. In TLDSB we strive to educate staff and students about Truth and Reconciliation, with a focus on a renewed relationship between Indigenous Peoples and Canadians through transformative learning.
Sharing Indigenous Perspectives
TLDSB Launches First Twitter #EdChat
Educators from across TLDSB were invited to participate in a voluntary Twitter Chat on November 7, 2017 about Indigenous Learning in our classrooms. TLDSB #EdChats are a great opportunity to connect, learn, and grow. Participants are able to share resources and get answers to their questions while connecting with others. See below for questions and the first Twitter chat archive.
In collaboration with Me to We, TLDSB hosted its first ever three-day Imagine Canada Camp with students coming from BMLSS and Watt PS. Following the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, this program guides participants on a path to a deeper understanding of themselves as leaders emerging with an action plan and next steps for creating important, lasting change within their school, the district and the country. Students from both BMLSS and Watt presented their action plans at our annual Parent and Community Evening with Mike Downie in May 2017. A second Imagine Canada camp was held in late October with students from Gravenhurst High School and Gravenhurst Public School.
FNMI Parent and Community Engagement Session with Mike Downie
On May 10, 2017 TLDSB hosted Mike Downie for our 10 th annual Parent and Community Engagement Session. The evening was a tremendous success with
over 200 attendees. Mike Downie is the co-founder of the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund, part of the movement to jumpstart reconciliation between
Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Additionally, TLDSB schools received 200 free copies of “The Secret Path” by Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire. Many copies of these books have already been given out to elementary and secondary schools throughout the board who are using them to further conversations around identity, privilege, assimilation and cultural genocide.
The Gathering Place at Glen Orchard PS
TLDSB, Glen Orchard Public School, and the Wahta Mohawk community have been involved in a collaborative inquiry for the past two years that was facilitated
by the Ontario Ministry of Education. The end result was ‘Gathering Place’, a space where students and staff could increase their understanding of First
Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultural teachings. On May 8, 2017, Glen Orchard PS hosted a grand opening of ‘Gathering Place’. Parents and community members were invited to a special evening to learn more about the purpose of the room. Over 50 parents and community members attended the event.
There were presentations by Blaze Sahanatien, Chief Terry Sahanatien, Chief Phillip Franks (all from Mohawk Territory), Senator Larry Duval (Moon River
Métis Council), and a student from Glen Orchard Public School who spoke about the impact of the ‘Gathering Place’ on the students. Director of Education Larry
Hope and Chair of Board Louise Clodd were also there to bring greetings.
It’s Time to Call in the Drums
Students and staff from IE Weldon presented “It’s Time to Call in the Drums” on June 8, 2017. All proceeds from the event went to Trent Aboriginal Initiative.
This is the second year IE Weldon staff and students have hosted feeder schools and community members for presentations highlighting issues such as truth and
reconciliation, and missing and murdered Indigenous women.
Schools Attend Huntsville’s Annual FNMI Celebration
The Town of Huntsville hosted their annual First Nations, Métis and Inuit Celebration, taking place at River Mill Park on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. This
year’s celebration was jointly-hosted by the Métis Nation of Ontario and the Moon River Métis Council. Students from Spruce Glen PS and Huntsville PS participated in activities such as making Bannock Bread, dancing, playing music, making art, and Métis games and regalia.
We Stand Together
As a part of their yearly Me to We Schools Action Plan, five TLDSB schools participated in the We Stand Together Campaign. The We Stand Together Campaign consists of ten days of learning and awareness about Indigenous history, culture, and tradition, as well as challenges and opportunities. It sheds light on current inequalities in Canada and engages non-Indigenous youth to explore this topic and draw attention to it in their schools and communities.
Our Indigenous Education Consultant has been working closely with teachers to help create meaningful learning opportunities for students. This includes a “Wampum Journey” project. Muskoka Falls Public School Grade 4/5 students were asked to create a visual classroom contract that described a commitment to be good people in their school and in the community. Teaching and learning take place as part of the development of a contract, planning a wampum geometric pattern, and the actual creation of the wampum. Students learn to understand how a wampum was used as a neumonic device by Indigenous peoples. Writing and audio samples of student stories were shared with the symbols and colours that they chose, as well as the emotions students were trying to evoke in their individual wampum creations. The project has been extremely successful and there are plans for repetition in classrooms across the district.