The Faculty of Education at uOttawa is committed, as educators, to enact the Calls to Action of the TRC. As part of this responsibility, the teacher education program continues to promote opportunities for teacher candidates to learn and unlearn about residential schools and their impact on indigenous communities. Thank you to Sylvia Smith, Lisa Howell, and Madeline McCracken who have facilitated our sessions.
This journey started last April during our IndiVisible Teaching Conference with an opening welcome by Albert Dumont, a keynote address by Cindy Blackstock, and a virtual Project of Heart workshop for over 90 teacher candidates. Candidates were also introduced to the Caring Society’s Spirit Bear campaigns and resources.
We followed this up with a Project of Heart workshop for Year 2 candidates and their Associate Teachers in late August. Over 40 participants had a chance to learn and plan for September 30 in their classrooms.
On September 21 our Year 1 candidates were invited to participate in a Day of Reconciliation. Again over 90 teacher candidates participated. We learned from the wisdom of Elder Irene Barbeau and her experiences as a IRS survivor in the morning’s Project of Heart session. Candidates participated in a variety of activities in the afternoon: a Reconciling History walk in downtown Ottawa; a Reconciliation Tour at Beechwood Cemetery; a discussion with Krystin Dumont, an Algonquin youth activist and advocate; a workshop on the resources of the Caring Society; and the NFB filming screening of “We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice”.