November 27, 2017

Central Peel Secondary School partners with First Nations school to host its first cultural exchange

​Central Peel Secondary School will take part in its first cultural exchange program with Chief Sunrise Education Centre, a First Nations kindergarten to grade 12 school, in Dene K'atl'odeech First Nations in Hay River, Northwest Territories. As part of the social sciences curriculum, students have been learning and investigating various topics related to the First Nations communities in Canada.

To begin the cultural exchange, Central Peel has planned a school-wide presentation and activities surrounding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission 94 Calls to Action on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. The presentation will take place from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. and will include guest speakers Henriette Thompson and Marjorie Paleshi. From 12 to 2:30 p.m., students will take part in a KAIROS blanket exercise to learn about the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.

From Feb. 26 to March 7, 2018, 16 students along with two staff members will visit the K'atl'odeech First Nations to learn about the Dene traditions history of the community and meet with students from Chief Sunrise Education Centre. Some of the activities planned for the students include a tour of the school and reserve, dog sledding, ice fishing, beading with elders and watching the K'amba Winter Carnival.

In May 2018, 11 Dene students, ranging from grades 6 to 12, from Chief Sunrise Education Centre will visit Central Peel and learn about the urban cities including Brampton, Toronto and Niagara Falls. Students will get the opportunity to learn about the different cultures in Southern Ontario, while exploring and visiting Carassauga Festival of Cultures, Ten Thousand Buddha Temple, Queen's Park, and Iroquois Longhouse Village.

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Background information about the speakers

Henriette Thompson is a settler Canadian who lives in Waterloo on the Haldimand Tract. For more than 30 years, she has been a program director and a popular educator on social and ecological justice issues and on reconciliation between Indigenous and settler peoples in Canada.

Marjorie Paleshi is a Métis Grandmother who has been on the First Nations, Métis and Inuit working group for the Ontario Secondary Teachers' Federation for eight years helping with writing curriculum and presenting workshops for teachers and staff.

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