St. Clair Catholic teachers, administrators, chaplains and a representative of the Board of Trustees recently participated in a full day session to engage in learning and reflection focused on residential schools. The day included opportunities for sharing resources and learning from guest speakers and community leaders from the Bkejwanong Walpole Island and Aamjiwnaang First Nations, the Sarnia-Lambton Native Friendship Centre and municipal partners.
"It was a remarkable experience," says Trustee Carol Bryden. "It is the responsibility of every Canadian to learn about this piece of our history and understand the impact this truth has had on so many generations."
Susie Jones, a residential school survivor, led the day by recounting her lived experience and her ongoing research. She reminded the group that we cannot change history, but together we can bring truth and reconciliation to people hurt by residential schools.
Sarnia filmmaker David Cloes shared his documentary, We Are Still Here, which features local residential school survivors; and author Jenny Kay Dupuis discussed her book, I Am Not a Number.
"Jenny challenged our educators to think about what they are doing to leave positive footprints with our students and community," says Cortnee Goure, First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Lead for St. Clair Catholic
The group also participated in a Blanket Exercise, developed by Kairos to help groups learn about history together. This teaching tool shares the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.
In the photo above, participants share in learning during the Blanket Exercise.