2011 fall 2012winter-educationnews

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University of Regina Faculty of Education news magazine featuring the Governor General Award winning Project of Heart initiative.

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2011 fall 2012winter-educationnews

  1. 1. Faculty of Education Summer 2011Contents Project of Heart tiles created by SUNTEP students (see p. 6) Faculty of Education
  2. 2. Faculty of Education Education News Fall 2011/Winter 2012 Page 5 Ontario. Her work, “Project of ation for the past and contin- Heart, is an innovative edu- ued oppression of Aboriginal cational tool kit designed to people in Canada. Project of engage students in a deeper Heart continues to be shared exploration of Indigenous with elementary, secondary, traditions in Canada and the and post-secondary schools history of Indian residential in other regions of Canada. It schools. Through introducing was showcased at the Truth aspects of the medicine wheel, and Reconciliation Commis- the kit facilitates a holistic sion’s first national event, held journey for understanding in Winnipeg in June, 2010.”1 through the heart and spirit, as well as the mind, with facts Sylvia received her award and dates. during a 2-day Canada’s His- tory Awards Event in Ottawa,Sylvia Smith Indigenous concepts of edu- December 11 and 12, 2011. cation and literacy, such as Dr. Marc Spooner, Sylvia’s2011 Governor General’s Grandmother and Grandfa- thesis advisor, also attendedAwards for Excellence in ther teachings and reading the ceremony.Teaching the environment, are fully integrated into the curricu- 1Faculty of Education, Univer- lum. Elders from First Nation,sity of Regina, grad student, Métis, and Inuit communitiesSylvia Smith, is the winner of become regular participantsthe 2011 Governor General’s in classroom presentationsHistory Award for Excellence and discussions. Students leadin Teaching. many of the project outcomes, demonstrating their learningThe Governor General’s through videos, multimediaAwards for Excellence in presentations, and decoratingTeaching Canadian His- small wooden tiles. Each tiletory were created in 1996, becomes a meaningful artifact,by Canada’s National History representing one of the thou-Society. Teachers, who excel sands of young lives lost due toat bringing history to life for the effects of the Indian resi-their students, are honoured dential schools system.with this award. A key objective of the programSylvia Smith is a teacher at is to encourage “ownership”Elizabeth Wyn Wood Alterna- of this historic injustice bytive High School in Ottawa, enacting gestures of reconcili-
  3. 3. Page 6 Hope, Humility, and Healing Submitted by Christina Johns SUNTEP FacultyArmed with Sharpie markers, Indigenous children who died responsibility for the contin-small wooden tiles, a legacy as a result of the residential ued oppression of Indigenousto honour, and the “heart” to school experience.” After people in Canada, and bemake a difference, SUNTEP learning about the truths of inspired to take action. SmithRegina students went to work Indian residential schools in also explains that the projectto preserve and reclaim the Social Studies class, Sylvia “commemorates the familiesmemory of the many Métis Smith’s students wanted to do and communities to whomand First Nations children more to bring greater public those children belonged. It iswho attended and lost their awareness to the large number designed to bring awarenesslives in residential schools. of deaths that had occurred both to the settler communityAll SUNTEP students par- in residential schools across of predominantly Europeanticipated in the artistic social Canada. Along with their Canadians and communitiesjustice project entitled Project teacher’s help, they developed of new Canadians from otherof Heart over the past 2 se- a social justice project that is parts of the world.” Manymesters. now growing in recognition students of all ages, all across and has recently been awarded Canada have been involvedProject Coordinator Sylvia the Govenor General’s Award in the project, by decoratingSmith, a high school teacher for Excellence in Teaching. tiles, doing research, visitingfrom Ottawa, describes Proj- with Elders and becomingect of Heart (P.O.H.) as a A key objective of P.O.H. is to more aware of the effects of“hands-on, collaborative, encourage “ownership” of this residential schools on genera-inter-generational, inter-insti- historic injustice by the non- tions of Indigenous people.tutional artistic endeavour. Its Indigenous community. By do-purpose is to commemorate ing so, non-Aboriginal Canadi- Project of Heart also seeksthe lives of the thousands of ans can then be moved to take to expand the opportunities
  4. 4. Faculty of Education Education News Fall 2011/Winter 2012 Page 7available for the wisdom of spirit, SUNTEP students dec- cal thinking and can also workAboriginal Elders to be heard orated 10-12 tiles each (400 towards healing. Drawingwithin mainstream, educa- in total), with imagery, words on tiles will, of course, nevertional/religious institutions. By and symbols created in memo- erase the horrors of residentialjoining with other groups who riam to the Aboriginal culture, schools or reverse the damageare making a space for Indig- language, and self-esteem done to families and commu-enous knowledge, institutions stripped away by assimilation nities, but it can bring aboutcan help to change attitudes and racism embodied at resi- hope; hope that we can some-and behaviours—hearts and dential schools. Through their day eradicate the perils ofminds—as Elders give voice to art, SUNTEP commemorated hatred, racism, and ethnocen-the traditions that were sup- Ile-a-la-Crosse, a Northern trism. Sylvia and her studentspressed by residential school- Saskatchewan community had the vision to bridge theing. with a high Métis population. emotional and spiritual power As evidence of the project’s of art to bring about healingDuring their involvement in lasting impact, as the social to communities who are stillthis unique social justice proj- justice activism component of in crisis despite governmentalect, SUNTEP students shared the project, SUNTEP students “apologies.” This art project isstories of people and relatives have developed lesson and a demonstration of the resil-they knew who attended the unit plans to use in their field iency of Aboriginal people andresidential school. Some were placements so Project of Heart their resistance to the culturalstories of pain, some were will continue to be shared and collision between Canada’sstories of relationships that honoured. Aboriginal peoples and Euro-developed while in residential pean colonizers. We are stillschool and some were humor- The project’s goal is to have valiantly fighting to reverseous anecdotes passed down 50,000 decorated tiles, each the devastating impact thatfrom grandparents and great- one representing a life lost in years of oppression has had ongrandparents. Through the the many residential schools Canada’s Aboriginal culturessharing of stories, we gathered across Canada. Although the and traditions. We hope thattogether as students, teachers, future and final resting place the inter-generational damageartists, and activists to remem- of the tiles is still uncertain, will not be forgotten but usedber the forgotten and piece there is a possibility of an as a reminder that this culturaltogether this influential, yet installation of the tiles as a genocide must never happenpoignant part of Canadian his- part of the new Canadian again!tory. Being able to talk about Museum for Human Rights inthe residential school experi- Winnipeg. This is only a small You can check out the SUN-ence has been painful to some gesture of reconciliation for TEP Regina’s tiles and morestudents, but in some ways it the past and continued about the program atstarted a healing process aided oppression of Aboriginal projectofheart.ca.by research, the sharing of the people in Canada.experience with family mem-bers, the smudging of the tiles Art has the power to bringand visits with an Elder/resi- together people from all agesdential school survivor. and all walks of life. It canOn this journey for under- bring about awareness andstanding through heart and understanding, promote criti-
  5. 5. Faculty of Education Summer 2011Talkin’ About School and Society is a public forum hosted by the Faculty ofEducation which brings Faculty of Education professors and guest speakers togetherwith interested participants to discuss relevant topics in education. The lectures anddisscussions are organized by Drs. Mark Spooner and Patrick Lewis.Critical Pedagogy: Dr. Michael Apple presented a public lecture on campus,Monday, September 26th, 2011 in the Education Auditorium. Professor Apple alsoparticipated, together with Dr. Paul Orlowksi, in the Talkin About School and Societyevening session at La Bodega Restaurant. Dr. Apple is a critical theorist in educationand an author of several books and scholarly articles.Politics, Sexuality, and Education: Dr. JamesMcNinch, Dean, Faculty of Education; KristaBaliko, Co-Instructor of Schooling and SexualIdentities course, Faculty of Education; and Dr.Brenda Anderson, Assistant Professor, Women’s &Gender Studies, Religious Studies, Luther College,U of R were the presenters/provocateurs for thisevening session on Monday, November 21st, 2011.Environmental Education: Where are we?:Dr. Marcia McKenzie, Faculty of Education,University of Saskatchewan; Dr. Herman Michell, Executive Director, NORTEP-NORPAC; and Dr. David Greenwood, Canada Research Chair in EnvironmentalEducation, Lakehead University (joining the session through Skype) were thepresenters/provocateurs for the January 30th, 2012 session.Burn All the Schools: Is School Reform Possible?Dr, Vianne Timmons, President, U of R; Dr. Jennifer Tupper, Associate Dean,Faculty of Education, U of R; and Dr. Patrick Lewis, Faculty of Education, U of Rwere the presenters/provocateurs for the March 26th, 2012 session. A publication of the Faculty of Education, University of Regina, Regina, SK Managing Editor, Layout & Design: Shuana Niessen (shuana.niessen@uregina.ca) Editorial Board: Dr. James McNinch, Dr. Val Mulholland, & Dr. Carol Fulton

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