Honouring Our Story

Honouring Our Story
Posted on 06/08/2018
Image of student drumming at recording studio.This year at Rideau Heights Public School, we received funding from the Ontario government to create learning opportunities around Truth and Reconciliation.

We decided to explore ways in which we could empower our Indigenous student community within our school to become leaders and to recuperate their own histories. We wanted to establish Rideau Heights as an ally school, and build a partnership of learning, equity and inclusion across the school community through a variety of immersive learning opportunities (learning from Indigenous elders, outdoor education trips, the Kent Monkman exhibit to name a few).

In the intermediate classes, we began by asking, "Who are the missing voices in Canadian history? Who is telling the story? What are the biases and perspectives?" We focused on connecting to the land in our science ecosystems unit and in history and geography, rather than learning historical facts for a test, we asked questions and explored the importance of telling one's own story and looked for missing voices by examining a variety of media and content both current and historical.

Our culminating activities included a mural and a three song CD based on the learning from the year. The students have made some incredible huge learning leaps and awareness building. Statements like, "I'm always going to be asking who was there first?". I wanted them realize that they are on the fronts lines. They can be part of changing the course of history, that their voice matters.