Thursday, 28 May 2015

Crestview, Sheila North Wilson, and Shoal Lake 40

Mrs. McDonald's grade 4/5 class at Crestview School has been learning a lot about Canadian history this year, and they have become particularly interested in Indigenous issues. One major topic that they have been writing and researching about lately is Shoal Lake 40, a First Nation reserve in Ontario. Why is it important about Shoal Lake? Well, that's where the City of Winnipeg gets its clean drinking water from, while the residents of Shoal Lake 40 themselves have lived 18 years under a boil water advisory.  The students wanted some more information around this, so Sheila North Wilson, a journalist for CTV Winnipeg, agreed to come meet the class and try to answer some questions. Sheila has done some reporting around the Shoal Lake 40 water issues, and has visited the community as well. She was able to give the students a better picture of what is going on there, and answered many questions that the students wanted answers to. To top it off, Sheila was able to call the Chief of Shoal Lake 40, Chief Erwin Redsky, and the students were able to talk with him over her speakerphone! What an amazing learning experience! Ekosi (thanks) to Sheila for giving the students a deeper understanding of the issue! They have big plans already for next steps!  :)

Students brainstormed questions before Sheila arrived

Sheila talking about Shoal Lake 40 

Speaking with Chief Erwin Redsky from Shoal Lake 40

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Truth and Reconciliation Commission 2015

Something very important is happening in Ottawa from May 31st to June 2nd.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), led by Chief Justice Murray Sinclair, will be publicly releasing their report to our country on June 2nd.  The TRC has spent the past 6 years listening to the stories of the survivors from the Residential School system in Canada, researching, and gathering evidence. The TRC’s report will provide a detailed account of how over 150,000 Indigenous children were stripped from their families starting in the 1880's and sent to church-run schools established by the federal government. The last residential school closed in the 1990's.
It's essential that our education system, no matter what level of school you teach in, acknowledges this dark part of our country's history; it's a way forward for Canada, for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. It's our shared history as one nation. Education was what got us into this mess, but education is also what will get us out.
Check out some of the resources below, as well as on our 'Resources' page. 

Some great articles:



(thanks to @phunphunphun for archiving the amazing tweets from @kairos!)

Hashtags to follow on Twitter:

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Stevenson - Britannia

Some grade 4/5 students at Stevenson-Britannia School were lucky to meet Elder Stanley Kipling on Wednesday! He brings his knowledge, and some very cool stuff for students to get up and close with! Everything from animal bones and skulls, to feathers, to bear claws and teeth!
Elder Kipling teaches students how he finds these items, preserves them, and then turns them into important pieces that can be used in traditional Indigenous ceremonies and powwows.
We had a great time! Thanks (yet again!) to our wonderful friend Elder Kipling!
The students learned a lot and loved meeting you!

Kenanow 2015!

It's hard to believe it's that time of year already!
We held our fourth annual Kenanow festival on May 15th at Westwood Collegiate, and it was fabulous! What a great way to celebrate an entire year of learning!
Students were invited from all schools across the division to come watch some of the BEST performers in Indigenous music (Don Amero, Leonard Sumner and Ali Fontaine), as well as spoken word poetry/art from Nereo II, an amazing dance performance from Westwood's dance group, and a fashion show from Cree-ations and Edna Nabess (which featured John Taylor students as models!). What an afternoon!
Huge shout out to our good friend Niigaan Sinclair for being a spectacular MC for us, and to Westwood and Mr. Fewer for hosting.

Meeting musician Leonard Sumner

MC Niigaan Sinclair (Native Studies Department Head at the U of M)
Musician Don Amero

Some of the models from the fashion show!

Students meeting with performers after the show!

Friday, 15 May 2015

Vision Quest 2015

Five lucky students from John Taylor attended the 19th annual 'Vision Quest' conference on Thursday.  Vision Quest is an amazing two-day event that connects Indigenous youth with the movers and shakers in Indigenous education, businesses, and community.  There is a trade show to wander through, and really valuable workshops that range from starting your own business, to governance, to information on trades and apprenticeship.  The morning was opened with an inspiring and motivating keynote from Wab Kinew. A huge thank you to Vision Quest for providing our students with complimentary passes. We all had a wonderful day!

Getting to meet Wab Kinew!
Testing out the texting & driving simulator from MPI
(we failed miserably!)

Meeting up with post-secondary institutions and possible future employers!

Meeting the Mayor of Cross Lake
Meeting with Chief Morris Swan Shannacappo from Rolling River First Nation
Hanging out with Constable Dirk Creighton from Winnipeg Police Service

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Drum Feast at John Taylor

At the end of April, some students at John Taylor were thrilled to learn how to make hand drums with Elder Stanley Kipling. After working hard on painting the drums over the past 2 weeks, Tuesday was the time to celebrate and feast the creation of these drums!
The drums were smudged, the students were given the teachings around the drum, and then the whole group celebrated by eating together.
What a great way to end an amazing experience!
Miigwetch to Elder Kipling for sharing your knowledge with our students! 

The completed drums
Learning from Elder Kipling
Preparing to smudge the drums

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Red River College Graduation Powwow!

On Friday, May 8th, students from both Hedges Middle School and John Taylor Collegiate were lucky enough to attend the graduation powwow at Red River College!
The day began with a pipe ceremony with Elder Jules Lavallee and Elder Mae Louise Campbell in the Aboriginal Student Association building. After that, we wolfed down our lunches and went to the gym to watch the grand entry, which included our very own Kathy Licandro! Students were excited to meet leaders in the community, such as Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, Wab Kinew, and Robert Falcon Ouellette (huge thanks to Chief Nepinak and Wab, who were gracious enough to stand for a million photos!)
It was a great day to see Indigenous culture being celebrated, as well as the huge number of Indigenous students who were graduating this year from the college. 
It was a fun and very rewarding day!

Friday, 8 May 2015

Storytelling at John Taylor

John Taylor and Hedges students were fortunate to meet and listen to Muuxi Adam and Nereo Eugenio on Wednesday, May 6th.  They both came in to share their stories with students, and Nereo introduced students to the art of spoken word poetry.  
Students had a wonderful time and learned a lot!

Big crowd at John Taylor!
Muuxi telling his story about how he came to Canada.

Muuxi and Nereo

Their Bios...

Muuxi Adar Adam~arrived in Winnipeg in 2004 at age 16, after escaping war-torn Mogadishu, Somalia. He produced and directed a film called A Ray of Hope that describes the tough, often life-or-death choices young refugees and immigrants face. He now works at Aurora Family Services. He also serves on the Winnipeg Recreation Task Force of the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council and on the Manitoba Ethnocultural Advisory and Advocacy Council. He is a co-founder of Humankind International. In 2014, he received Red Cross Young Humanitarian Award.

Nereo Eugenio~is Spoken Word and Hip Hop artist, and has performed across the country at events like the Scribble Jam Hip Hop Festival, the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, the Toronto International Poetry Slam, and the Speak series in Halifax. His work has appeared in The Filipino Journal and on CBC Radio’s Content Factory. In May 2008, he won the Winnipeg CBC Poetry Face Off. He works for Graffiti Art Programming, and runs a hip hop studio workshop for youth in Point Douglas.