Truth and Reconciliation: Grade 4s Visit CMHR

posted: Monday, January 23, 2017 

In one Grade Four class, students have recently been learning about Residential Schools, a necessary study in their Social Studies exploration this year. Some of the topics students are covering this year include government, power and authority and its misuse, what it means to be a citizen in Canada, democratic ideals, respect for the rights of others, and the people of the North in respect to its languages, culture, and communities. Students began the unit by identifying what it means to be Canadian and the privileges of being a citizen in this country. They also reflected on their own personal identity and the various elements in their life that contribute to their identity. While engaging in some powerful novel studies in Language Arts: Shi-shi-etko by Nicola Campbell and Fatty Legs by Margaret Pokiak- Fenton and Christy Jordan-Fenton, students gained another perspective of life in Canada and the students who attended Residential Schools, enhancing their knowledge of our Social Studies topics and providing insight and empathy for other communities in Canada.

Class 4AM was exceptionally fortunate to be the first group to participate in the Telling Our Stories: Residential School Experiences at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, an age-appropriate program geared toward students in grades 4-6. Students learned about the various Indigenous groups in Canada and how they were affected by the Residential School Program. They also learned of the value in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and how they, as the future leaders of our country, can make a positive impact on educating others so that the rights of all citizens in Canada will never be threatened again. Students in 4AM were separated into groups and given hundreds of words to help reflect on what they had learned. They will be putting together a series of stories, journal entries, and poems inspired by the many they have learned as an act of testimony, truth and reconciliation.