Bluewater District School Board

Bluewater's National Indigenous History Month in BWDSB page

National Indigenous History Month in BWDSB

National Indigenous History Month in BWDSB
Posted on 07/05/2018
National Indigenous History Month in BWDSB
June was a busy month in Bluewater District School Board for meaningful activities and recognition events in honour of National Indigenous History Month and National lndigenous Peoples Day on June 21st.  Some recently featured examples include the annual Pow Wow at Peninsula Shores District School, and the work of G.C. Huston Public School in naming the "Zgaa-biig-ni-gan" ("we are connected") Bridge that connects Southampton and Saugeen First Nation.    
Elsewhere, Grade 5/6 students at Sullivan Community School in Desboro participated in a class trip to Sainte-Marie among the Hurons on National lndigenous Peoples Day to learn about Indigenous history and culture.  This popular attraction in Midland is considered to be "the ancestral homeland of the Huron Wendat nation, a branch of the Iroquoian family.  The Wendat were a matrilineal society of good traders and skillful farmers who called their land Wendake - the land apart." (source: View the photo gallery from this exciting day below.

Amabel-Sauble Community School in Sauble Beach celebrated a full week of Indigenous learning.  All divisions have contributed to an inclusive and well-informed school culture by inviting inquiry-based learning through a school-wide art show and outdoor learning opportunities.  The art show integrated the Seven Grandfather Teachings along with some cultural and Native practices.  Students created an Indigenous bulletin board with the help of the Grade 2 teacher.  There was also a gathering for all grade levels in the Community Room to celebrate and learn Native Drum Circle practices, become better acquainted with some of the Grandfather Teachings, and to hear some students share their backgrounds.

Grades 1, 2/3 and 4/5 at the school learned about Indigenous practices and cultural teachings as they integrated learning and celebrated the importance of valuing the land, natural resources and an endangered species (the Piping Plover), in an outdoor learning classroom at Sauble Beach.  During the final five weeks of school, a group of teachers collaborated and then joined volunteers to walk three classes to the beach for an adventure in inquiry based learning.  The teachers led the students into discussions on issues such as micro plastics left on the beach, the availability of usable water, and how this affects the environment, habitats, and tourism.  Students raised and answered their own questions about the impacts of tourism, appropriate use of the beach, and how this impacts the health and well-being (of the beach).  There was also an opportunity for students to express their own concerns for their community, the environment, and Indigenous species that require space and safety to survive in the beach environment.  They created their own natural art using Voices of the Land art projects, built structures as they problem solved, and worked together to explore ideas and express their thinking.  A Big Dip Challenge was also issued for the students to find water without entering the lake, which resulted in some really nice sand structures and art!  

Another fantastic project at Amabel-Sauble Community School has been the Truth and Reconciliation Garden, which began two years ago with junior students learning about residential schools and the need for a government apology.  As part of the full week of Indigenous learning at the school, a wooden sign was installed by School Council member Terry Arnold and his sons, so that students have a visual reminder to always respect and honour all people and their rights to their own cultures and traditions.  Students were then tasked with creating a four direction stone garden beneath the sign.  It has been an evolving learning process that has included all those wishing to participate in an effort to raise awareness and understanding of everyone’s rights and responsibilities when living in a community.
Bluewater District School Board is located on the traditional land of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, which is represented by the communities of Saugeen First Nation and Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.
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