In 2016, the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights engaged in a collaborative pilot project with five schools in Edmonton Catholic and Edmonton Public School Boards. The program applied a reconciliation through a human rights-based lens, exploring a variety of topics including the history of Residential Schools, the Blanket Exercise, Treaty, Worldview, Indigenous Language, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and Children’s Rights.
This project inspired the creation of a pedagogical resource directed to teachers and community trainers with a full curriculum (lessons, activities, etc) to provide teachers across the province with a meaningful process to educate on reconciliation. The relevance of this toolkit is strengthened by the fact that it was built with community and student participation and based on the experience of Human Rights educators who piloted the sessions in schools with the support and guidance of local indigenous knowledge holders and elders.
The Advancing Reconciliation in Education Professional Development Series workshops provide the opportunity to work through the toolkit and learn skills and processes to apply that knowledge in the classroom. John Humphrey Centre will provide a framework for teachers to introduce and work through Canada’s complex and challenging history, while inspiring action and understanding in schools and the broader community.
This series equips teachers with skills to be in accordance with the new Teacher Quality Standard set by Alberta Education in the areas of Applying Foundational Knowledge about First Nations, Metis, Inuit, Fostering Effective Relationships, and Establishing Inclusive Learning Environments.
October 16, 2018 Session One: Starting the Conversation
The first full day workshop provides a starting point to open conversations about our shared history and a framework for introducing Truth and Reconciliation in the classroom. This first day aims to create a safe and supportive space for teachers to work through some important questions about teaching reconciliation in an age appropriate way. In this session facilitators introduce the toolkit and provide a grounding in some foundational principles for reconciliation: the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and local Treaties. Participants have the opportunity to learn from a local Elder/Knowledge Keeper who lead us in ceremony, share teachings and help work through some of the questions and barriers that may arise. Cross cultural dialogue about reconciliation in schools is fundamental to the day, as well as the sharing of best practices and introducing the sessions of the toolkit.
November 13, 2018 Session Two: Truth Before Reconciliation
The second full day workshop provides participants the opportunity to delve deeper into activities and topics of the toolkit. This session demonstrates collaborative, participatory learning activities to discuss Treaty, UNDRIP and Reclaiming Indigenous Language and Worldview in education and explore alternative pedagogies for the classroom. The JHC models age appropriate ways to bring these concepts into the classroom and engages with a local Indigenous knowledge keeper to explore the local context of these topics.
January 17, 2019 Session Three: Turning Knowledge into Action
This third and last session is also a hands on workshop designed to explore how teachers can hold space for difficult topics and use student participation and art-making to help students process our colonial history, express their feelings about Canada’s past, and bring students to recognize their agency through art and activism. The Calls to Action process is an important way for students of all ethnic and racial backgrounds to recognize that their voices are valued, that they can be agents of change, and contribute to meaningful conversations and actions in their school and community. In this workshop, we model process, present concrete examples of students’ work, and provide teachers with practical tools and examples to implement the process in their classroom. Teachers also walk away with a clear idea and strategy of how to respectfully connect with local community resources to support the journey they will begin with.
Chelsea Burke is an Education Lead and Program Facilitator for the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights. Having grown up in East Vancouver, on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish People, Chelsea has been steeped in a quintessentially Canadian multicultural, multiple perspective environment. She has an Education degree from the University of Alberta with a minor in Social Studies. Chelsea's focus in education is based on discovery and inquiry and in connecting learning to the many innovations in indigenous knowledge, social movements, art, media and technology to facilitate a sense of agency and connection to our communities. She values grassroots action that comes from a sense of personal passion and commitment to help work through the myriad of issues facing humanity today; and is honoured to work with an organization like John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights that has been doing this so passionately for many years.
Registration fee is for the full 3-Day Series.
Day 1 is occurring during the Mamawihtowin Conference. If you are registered for the conference, you will need to register for the remaining 2 days of the series using this registration link above.
If you are not registered for the conference but want to register for this series, please use the same link.