For over six years, Mr. Shield’s Issues of Indigenous People in a Global Context class has been organizing an Indigenous Fair at IE Weldon Secondary School. This fair is a display of the many challenges facing indigenous people worldwide discussed by students in class throughout the semester. The Issues of Indigenous People in a Global Context class provides students with an overview of the issues and challenges that confront indigenous people worldwide. Students develop an understanding of the concerns and aspirations of the world’s indigenous population through the research of global issues.
Students studied a variety of communities and displayed their findings with colourful pictures, maps, jewellery, and artefacts. Some students made traditional treats common to the indigenous people they studied. Students highlighted many different indigenous communities including: Inuit, Maori, Huli, Algonquin, Navajo, Dukha, Basques, Kanaka Maoli, and Sioux.
“I found this project really interesting,” says Elise, a grade 12 student at IE Weldon Secondary School. “It’s nice to learn about different regions and tribes within Canada, but you don’t really get to learn all of the small details of each group, especially worldwide. When we got to pick a group of indigenous people and look into their culture ourselves, it was really interesting to see how different parts of the world function. I think this project is great because it gives you a chance to teach yourself. Instead of someone else picking a topic for you about what they think is important, you get to choose it yourself so it sparks more of an interest. I find that I know a lot more now about Indigenous people and the challenges they face,” said Elise.