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. After the first exploration, Advancing Reconciliation in Education facilitated the participation of students in a process of building their own calls to action. Those calls to action were captured in art forms, videos, documents, a zine, and concrete actions that affected their school communities in positive ways. Permanent displays featuring student learning and messages to survivors of residential schools and a treaty recognition poster contest are some of the school-wide initiatives that students have moved forward on.
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. https://www.jhcentre.org/reconciliation-in-schools/
The Advancing Reconciliation in Education Professional Development Series workshops provides the opportunity to work through the toolkit and learn skills and processes to apply that knowledge in the classroom. JHC 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.
"Education, or what passed for it, got us into this situation, and education is what will lead us out. Schools seem to us to be one of the best vehicles to create and sustain a change in the attitude of all Canadians to the nature of the relationship that must exist between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in this country." Murray Sinclair
Truth Before Reconciliation
This full-day workshop provides a starting point to open conversations about our shared history and introduces a framework for bringing Truth and Reconciliation into the classroom. We will create a safe and supportive space for teachers to work through some important questions about teaching reconciliation in an age-appropriate way.
Participants will have the opportunity to learn from a local Elder/Knowledge Keeper who will lead us in ceremony, share teachings and help work through some of the questions and barriers that may arise.
We will engage in collaborative, participatory learning activities to discuss the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and reclaiming Indigenous languages and worldview in education. Cross-cultural dialogue about reconciliation in schools is fundamental to the day, as well as the sharing of best practices and resources.
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.
There is the posibility of another session to complete this series in the future. All participants will be emailed an update if the final date is opened for registrations.