The Halton District School Board joins school boards across Ontario in celebrating Education Week
from May 3-7, 2021
. This year, the HDSB will celebrate Education Week
by focusing each day on one of the five pillars in the 2020-2024 Multi-Year Plan
(MYP) to show the importance of schools, staff, families and the community working together to support the well-being and success of students.
On the final day of Education Week, the HDSB will highlight the many learning opportunities for students and staff that help promote knowledge and understanding of Indigenous perspectives and realities. The Indigenous Perspectives & Awareness area of the MYP demonstrates the HDSB’s commitment to expanding knowledge and understanding of Indigenous perspectives and realities.
- To further the Board’s commitment to this area, Stephen Paquette has been hired into a permanent position as the Board’s Indigenous Knowledge Guide ＆ Engagement Advisor, to provide classroom curriculum engagement and community connections.
This school year, the following guest speakers have joined students in the classroom (virtually) to enhance learning:
- Isaac Murdoch and Shannon Paul spoke to elementary students through a Board-wide livestream of storytelling and sharing of the Anishinaabek knowledge and culture
- Joe Pitawanakwat, educator, spoke to students about understanding Awaadiziwin (knowledge) and its role in achieving Bimaadiziwin (life)
- Tanya Talaga, Ojibwe author, spoke to students in NBE3, English: Understanding Contemporary First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Voices
- Chef Johl Whiteduck Ringuette, owner of NishDish Marketeria and Catering and culinary arts teacher, worked with students in Nutrition classes
- D'Scribe, Anishinaabe/Mi'qmaq, spoken word artist/poet shared his poetry and worked with students on creating their own
- Naomi Smith, Anishinsaabe, No Word For Art worked with students in learning about traditional art and techniques as it connects to the NAC1O course curriculum
HDSB and staff have been provided the following professional development opportunities this year:
- “Centreing Indigenous Rights in Professional Development” including the ongoing “Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy” series running for the third time this Spring
- Two Pathways Planning Series in collaboration with Secondary School Programs staff, with a session upfronting Indigenous Rights, histories and current realities so students are better served in our schools
- PA Day sessions on Feb. 5, 2021 with Educational Assistants that dug deeper into understanding the land acknowledgement and Indigenous truths, histories and current realities.
- A New Teachers and Mentors session took place on Saturday, March 6 that provided introductory understanding of Indigenous histories, contributions and contemporary realities.
- Emily Carr Public School staff engaged in professional development around Indigenous history and impacts of colonialism and how that ties into understanding cultural appropriation.
- Oakwood Public School staff engaged in professional development around understanding the impacts of colonialism, Indigenous Rights, and how the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action connect to the work of understanding our roles in selecting resources with a First Nations, Inuit and Métis focus.
- Coming soon: A two-part learning series offered to all Board staff called Truth First: A Foundation for Positive Action, with speaker Charlene Bearhead, educator and Indigenous education advocate