Indigenous Education Professional Learning Day – October 18, 2021
Our entire staff (teachers and support staff) enjoyed a meaningful day of learning. We deeply appreciate the gift of time together.
The keynote speakers -Tomas Jirousek- Kainai and Dr. Pam Toulouse- Cree/Anishinaabe-kwe – stimulated subsequent discussions amongst our staff. Key highlights included:
- Cultural sensitivity –being careful not to single out our indigenous learners
- Value of western and traditional forms of education – each has their own gifts and resonates differently for each learner
- Setting high expectations for all students – the narrative of difficult experiences and history is very real. We should not let this weigh down student potential.
- Indigenous people know Indigenous issues. Non-Indigenous people can participate in reconciliation by being allies or accomplices- not saviours.
- Avoiding truths or repeating misconceptions is a reflection of privilege. Do not be a "perfect strangers" or "perfect trolls".
- Mistakes will be made; this is a learning process for everyone
Land-based learning provides opportunities for all learners to achieve success and teaches children how to notice, ask questions and form observations. This not only helps to develop the practice of mindfulness, but also leads students through the beginning of scientific inquiry and critical thinking. Our staff members spent the balance of the day at Votier’s Flats in Fish Creek Park, with teaching led by Sr. Andy Gossen, Sra. Jackie and myself!
Sra. Andrea Riquelme
Principal, Escuela Eugene Coste