Ste. Anne Elementary students and staff are taking intentional steps toward Truth and Reconciliation.
The “Because Project’ was inspired last year by the multiple graves that were found and connected to Residential Schools.
"Ste. Anne Elementary is taking steps such as representing our Indigenous students in our school and also in our community,” explains teacher Chantelle Desorcy. “And seeing and identifying themselves in their learning and can connect to their own personal identities. “Non-Indigenous students are also recognizing their role in what reconciliation is and how that works and understanding how and why we're kind of all treaty people.”
Each of the daily activities teach students about Indigenous culture, and to honour survivors as well as those who never made it home.
“It’s also made the kids reflect on their lives and community with more gratitude for their safety, their rights and freedoms afforded to them,” she adds.
Desorcy says she was really moved by the discovery of the graves.
"I grew up in foster care as well,” she says. “And these stories of children not making it home and the graves, kind of resonated with me as my story in the foster care kind of felt like I was hidden as well.”
Desorcy says she was initially embarrassed by who she was, but that has changed.
“I would identify that I do have Indigenous blood and I am Filipino, and I am proud to say that I'm figuring out who I am,” Desorcy says. “In this day and age, it is a possibility to kind of explore what my identity is whereas before it was very hidden and something to be ashamed of.”
Because Project sample Activities 2022
Today we acknowledge the treaties by reading our Land acknowledgement because they lost their rights and their lands when the treaties were not honored.
Today we look for Indigenous symbols in our community because we acknowledge we are on Treaty 1 Territory and are partners with Indigenous communities.
Today we practice the teaching truth by making friendship bracelets because we acknowledge that friendships were lost and broken with treaties and residential schools.
Today we practice the teaching of truth by learning new words in Indigenous languages because they lost their languages. We will be listening to a multi-lingual “O Canada” this morning. Classes have been given a copy of the lyrics to post in their classrooms.
Today we practice the teaching of truth by learning new words in Indigenous languages because they lost their languages. We will be learning numbers 1- 10 in Cree. A big thank you to Harlen in 5/6 for providing his knowledge in Cree by reading “We all Count” for us.
Today we practice the teaching of wisdom by brainstorming classroom community expectations through using the circle of courage because they didn’t have voice and choice in their classroom environment.
Today we practice the teaching of wisdom by thanking our principle for guiding us in making our school a safe and healthy community because children were separated from their elders, therefore losing their wisdom.
Today we practice the teaching of respect by wearing a braid because their hair was not connected to their identity from those who took it away.
Today we practice the teaching of respect by reflecting and sharing about your favorite outfit because they were stripped of their clothes and forced to wear uniforms.
Today we practice the teaching of respect by thanking our parent or guardians for providing nutrients for our bodies because they did not always have nutritious food to eat at residential schools.