June is National Indigenous History Month and June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) is putting increased focus on Indigenous Education this week to bring attention to Indigenous culture, history and to aid in relationship building between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous communities.
Traditionally, each spring the UCDSB hosts a multi-school, four-day Truth and Reconciliation gathering as a cumulative activity for work that has been done throughout the year and to foster relationships between students and Indigenous elders. However, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s gathering was not possible so the UCDSB has taken the opportunity to provide additional resources and put extra focus on Indigenous education to celebrate Indigenous History Month and Indigenous People’s Day.
“Within the UCDSB there is a strong focus on Indigenous education. We worked with a variety of cultural advisors to put together resources for our staff, students and broader communities that support increased understanding and awareness of Indigenous ways of knowing and being, while building on the learning that’s happened throughout the year,” says Gail Brant-Terry, Principal of Indigenous Education.
Here is a sample of some of the resources available about UCDSB Gatherings:
- Bill Montgomery, Indigenous Education Lead: Overview of TRC Gathering and 2020 Honouring Relationships: https://safeyoutube.net/w/ h6BK.
- David Jock, Knowledge Keeper, Akwesasne Mohawk Territory: Insights about TRC Gatherings
- Highlights of past UCDSB TRC Gatherings: https://safeyoutube.net/w/J9BK.
“I hope our staff, students and their families take time this week to use these resources and reflect on their relationships with Indigenous peoples. It’s really important for us to talk about reconciliation and renewal, which is about building respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples so that we can build the dsired future for our children,” says Stephen Sliwa, Director of Education.
More learning resources can be found on the UCDSB Indigenous Learning You-Tube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P Lwwqq79yV4CEVrDTWwmNy-N4w7KiXcxSD) and in our Learn at Home section of the UCDSB website: https://www.ucdsb.on.ca/for_students/UCDSB_learn_ at_home.