The staff and students at ILCS have been through a multi- year learning process to infuse indigenous perspectives into our classroom learning. This year, we started the year by deciding to have whole school assemblies on each of the 7 teachings. We started with the teaching of "Respect" in September, and will have our final assembly on "Truth" in late May. The assemblies were preceded by and followed by in-class activities to fully understand the concepts. We recognized Orange Shirt Day in September and began the education of our students about the legacy of residential schools and the impact they have had on the Indigenous peoples of Canada. The teaching and learning has continued throughout the year with a focus on treaty education, the effects of colonization on the original peoples of Canada, residential schools and the overall treatment of the Indigenous people by past governments. Our goal has been to understand the changing relationships between Indigenous peoples and the government, as well as to educate and build empathy within our school community. As a culminating activity, all students, teachers and educational assistants are creating a piece of art that will help us take a step towards reconciliation. After the many educational lessons, each person will be provided with a wooden live edged "round". On one side will be a written message of hope and reconciliation and the other side will be a visual expression. Individuals are asked to leave these rounds throughout our community, our city, our province and our country. Students will choose where to leave their message as they depart on summer vacation. Staff rounds will be placed within our school grounds and community.
It is our hope that by putting reconciliation into action, we will start to walk with the Indigenous peoples of Canada and make our country stronger and better for all.
Our final assembly on the teaching of "Truth" will be Thursday, May 24th @ 9:00 AM. Members of our community are welcome to attend.
We would like to extend thanks to Ingrid Pedersen, Fine Arts Coordinator for her support of this project through an expressive arts grant.