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Board Meetings

October 21, 2008


PD Day Reflections

The September 26th PD day was an opportunity to strengthen our Character Development focus.  Character Development is at the heart of public education; our schools have always been places of character development.  The provincial mandate for all schools to implement a formal character development program has provided the resources and impetus for us to do so in a comprehensive and coordinated way.

I would like to share some of my personal reflections of “Showing Respect – Building Trust” through the lens of our 10 character attributes…

TRUST:  Chief Randall Kahgee, Chief Ralph Akiwenzie, Senator Roland St. Germain demonstrated their trust in Bluewater by participating and showing their appreciation

DEPENDABILITY:  We can always count on the people part of our organization, even when the technology falters.  Despite technological challenges, all Bluewater staff had the opportunity to see Dr. Pamela Toulouse in person, observe live entertainment, hear the powerful story of the residential school experience, visit displays, reflect on our shared experience over lunch and connect with the gifts of Mother Earth as described by Shirley John in her opening prayer

HONESTY:  We now know that there were over 500 distinct Nations on Turtle Island representing 120 million Aboriginal People…and only 24 of those 500 nations wore headdresses and slept in teepees (white handout)

RESPONSIBILITY:  Based on our new knowledge and shared experience on Friday, we all have a responsibility to build inclusive school cultures where all learners feel they belong (red handout)

INTEGRITY:  Demonstrating our 10 Character Attributes in comfortable situations comes easily.  We show real integrity when we work together to demonstrate our 10 Character Attributes in areas that require us to rethink past attitudes and overcome unfair stereotypes

COMMITMENT:  Finding a way to provide a powerful learning experience for over 2000 employees takes commitment from many people.  Without that commitment, the logistics of mobilizing such an event would stop the planning very quickly.  Bluewater staff, aboriginal partners and community helpers demonstrated incredible commitment and took a giant leap of faith to make “Showing Respect – Building Trust” possible

RESPECT:  Our respect for Mother Earth and her many gifts has been deepened through our new understanding of the four seasons and the thirteen moons (yellow hand out)

SELF DISCIPLINE:  Hearing the story of the white woman in the green dress driving the black Buick gives me a deep appreciation for the self discipline demonstrated by our aboriginal peoples in moving forward from the grave injustices that characterized the residential school experience (green handout)

CARING:  Bluewater DSB is a caring organization because of the caring people who make up Bluewater.  By hosting “Showing Respect – Building Trust” we have shown that we care about all our students and staff and know that as we learn about the reality of our aboriginal people, we will be better able to demonstrate our caring

TEAMWORK:  A list of the many people who worked together to stage “Showing Respect – Building Trust” will be included on the website this week.  I marvel every day at the ability of Bluewater staff.  I believe I am the most fortunate Director in Ontario to work with this team.

BWDSB Sept 26, 2008 PD Day Team

System Program Team:
Jacqui Traverse-Thomas
John Woodley
Janice Greenwood
Mark Kolohon
Wendy Rackner
Velvet Rollin
Liz Campbell
Melissa McEwen
Program/SAT Support Team:
Amy McGuire
Susan Lavergne
Joan Farrow
Sandi Tibbo
Bev Sims
System Administrative Team
Marnie Coke
Alana Murray
Jean Stephenson
Steven Reid
Lori Wilder
Mary Anne Alton
Information Technology Department
Michael Morgan
Bill Rumley
Kevin Smith (on-site)
Pete Harris(on-site)
Randy Thompson(on-site)
Bill Golem (broadcast coordination)
Paul Roberts
Jeff Rosenburg(on-site)
Val Roulston (BEAM pop-up)
Jennifer Yenssen
Marg Gaviller
Gail Nadjiwon
Aboriginal Advisory Committee
Ray Auger
Jeff Moser
Custodial Staff
Teresa Jackson (Head Custodian)
Rob Dell
Bill Fairman
Jim Baker
Lois McComb
West Hill Secondary School
Doug Wright – Head Custodian
Ralph Pike
Brian Ebel
Mike Todd
Ted Fields
Lyle Casselman
Bayshore Community Centre
Michael Pledger
Mark Kazarian
Robert Austin
Kerry Brainard
Ruth Hillier (Admin – Bayshore)
Host School Administration
Bernice Payne
Peter Hughes
Andrea Tang
Glenn Boisverst
Sonya Wiley
Aboriginal Partners
Dr. Pamela Rose Toulouse
Chief Randall Kaghee
Chief Ralph Akiwenzie
Métis Senator Roland St Germain
President of Saguingue Métis Council, Jim McLay
Leora Wilson, Métis Council
Shirley John
Adrian Kahgee
M'Wikwedong Singers
Lenore Keeshig-Tobias
Ian Akiwenzie
Chas Pedoniquotte

Submitted to
For further information, please contact   
Bluewater District School Board
Mary Anne Alton, Director of Education  
October 21, 2008


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