Indigenous Education Newsletter

LDSB February 2019

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Quinte Mohawk School and Southview Public School Collaboration: Orange Shirt Day 2018

Mandy and Charlene Smart with Crystal Loft, from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, prepare 600 students and staff from both Quinte Mohawk and Southview Public School for Haudenosaunee social dancing, as a way to forge intercultural understanding in commemoration of Orange Shirt Day.

New date for FREE Colonization Road screening and question and answer session with Dr. Terri-Lynn Brennan: Friday, March 29, 2019 at 6PM; everyone welcome

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National Gathering for Indigenous Education, Edmonton, November 2018

What an opportunity! Indigenous community partner Deb St. Amant and Christine Jamieson, Indigenous Education Support, were selected to present at this year's Indspire Educator Conference, November 5-7, where the theme was Transforming Education through Reconciliation. Co-presenting their workshop Circles of Influence: Classroom, School, System, Social Transformation, to a packed room resulted in many educators and administrators asking for more information on how to get started on reconciliation in their specific contexts. This conference is a fabulous opportunity to learn from and with nationally recognized leaders in Indigenous education. Highlights include attending workshops by other Board teams who generously share what is happening in their regions.

Another great experience was standing on the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada floor map resource for the first time. Many schools in Limestone have booked this resource for use with students. Photos: Grade 3/4s in Mr. Flegal's class at Granite Ridge, students in Ms. McConnell's NBE English class; educators at Canadian Geographic floor map workshop. For more informatin about the giant floor maps or to book, visit

Birch Bark Canoe Building at Katarokwi Learning Centre (KLC)

Students at KLC hand built a birch bark canoe in October out of hand-made tools, birch bark, spruce roots and with guidance and teachings from Blackwolf Canoe owner Wayne Bayer and Linda, along with Alphonse Trudeau from Wikwemikong First Nation. Funding was generously provided through Focus Forward For Indigenous Youth. Global News was there to capture this experience as well as many students, educators and visitors who made it to see the build underway.

Imagine A Canada Celebration and Art Exhibition: Reconciliation K-12

Rebecca Carnevale, Manager, Academic Operations, Faculty of Education at Queen's University, hosted an art exhibit opening at The Studio, featuring the student visions of what reconciliation can be, submitted from students across Ontario for Imagine A Canada for the National Center for Truth and Reconciliation, University of Manitoba. The exhibit featured local honourees Loughborough Public School and Frontenac Secondary School students. Students from both schools worked to produce collaborative entries. Photos: Wampum Inspired Art, Loughborough Public School students in collaboration with community partner Janza Giangrosso; a Twitter Campaign with grade 11/12 Indigenous studies students with teacher, Christine Jamieson.

Teachers who would like more information about Imagine A Canada 2019, deadline March 1, 2019 please see or contact

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GREC's Great Canoe Journey

Students show Ms. Craig their Canoe Paddles (Photo: Frontenac News)

On Friday, December 14, GREC’s Indigenous Studies class welcomed Christine Craig to their classroom to present a workshop as part of their participation in the Great Canoe Journey.

Ms. Craig took the students through a presentation in which she shared the knowledge she was given by Elders and knowledge keepers during a visit to British Columbia. The teachings centred around the Indigenous World View, particularly with respect to water. It stressed the importance of water conservation and preservation, and the challenges to these brought about by agriculture and industry.

Part of the Great Canoe Journey’s program, as well as education, is a challenge to students to do something to promote water conservation and preservation. GREC’s Indigenous Studies class chose to connect the Voyageur culture and Metis Dot Art teachings they received from Candace Lloyd with the Great Canoe Journey, by dot-painting canoe paddles.

The class had already started their paddle painting prior to the workshop, and were proud to show Ms. Craig their work. Ms. Craig was impressed with the quality of the work, and said she had visited many classes, but this was the first one to do this kind of project for The Great Canoe Journey.

For more information on the Great Canoe Journey, visit:

Article published in Frontenac News, January 9, 2019.

Connections to the Cause: Textile Projects

Students in Ms. Robinson's Frontenac Secondary School grade 9 NAC art course, Lisa, Abbigail and Ceilidh shared some of the products that they created after an inquiry into Walking With Our Sisters, the Red Dress Project, the Moccasin Project: So They Can Go Home, and Faceless Dolls. Some of their individual expressions and connections integrated beading work learned with Indigenous community partner Deb St. Amant during the student inquiry.

Uncovering Indigenous History Walk: Lasalle Secondary School and Sydenham Secondary School

On a cold day in October, students and educators in NBE English classes at Lasalle Secondary School had the opportunity to experience this LDSB student-created walking tour with nine stops in what is now known as downtown Kingston. Lasalle students engaged in a primary documents inquiry lesson prior to going on the walk. They shared the research they were able to find about questions they generated when they investigated the maps - Who is Molly Brant? Why was the longhouse outside of the walls of Fort Frontenac? Why is our school named after Lasalle and what did he do? The tour was co-led by Dr. Terri-Lynn Brennan, CEO of Inclusive Voices, who shared the Indigenous lens on the history of this land. Christine Jamieson, shared stories collected from other students' investigations since 2013. Top photo: MWO Fort Sergeant Major Charles Cote speaks to students about why local history matters at the Burial Ground for the Parish of St. Francis, inside Fort Frontenac.

Educators from Sydenham Secondary School spent their November professional learning day on the land. It was a really cold day as well. Rye Barberstock, vice-president of Okwaho, co-led this day's tour providing participants with personal family stories and oral history to deepen our understanding of the land and water. Co-leading this student-created tour with both Dr. Terri-Lynn Brennan and Rye Barberstock is a powerful demonstration of working together to deepen intercultural understanding and reconciliation.

Indigenous Student Leader: Meet Abigail Lesage-Cooper

Abigail Lesage-Cooper is an engaged student leader. In grade 11 she accepted an invitation to present to educators at Frontenac Secondary School for a professional development day that featured all Indigenous voices - she said yes. She co-presented with FSS alumna Leslie St Amour. They shared their lived experiences as students at Frontenac to help educators understand what role they need to play in making their school a place that promotes and supports Indigenous students. Abigail also presented to LDSB teachers of grade 11 English working to integrate Indigenous literatures into their classes. Students and educators in both LDSB and Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic DSB at the Student Leadership Event had the opportunity to hear from Abigail in workshops in May 2018. Students worked together to plan ways to support Indigenous students in their schools. In a recent interview, here's what she had to say.

What would you like to share about your family? My family is Anishinabek from Kitigan Zibi in Maniwake, Quebec. My Nani is from there which is Algonquin territory.

What are some of your best experiences in Frontenac Secondary School?

It was not just Indigenous students taking on what needs to be done. I like the collaborations between Indigenous students and non-Indigenous students and how we invite family and community to be involved in all the work we are doing. Attending my first Four Winds Student Conference changed everything for me. At a young age my dad tried his best to arrange activities and events by looking for Elders and knowledge keepers in the community. The one I enjoyed best was the Meidicne Wheel teaching we attended together. At Four Winds, I got to learn with many Elders and knowledge keepers all in one day and then I took my teachings home to my dad. The following year I was able to attend with my dad, and he was so happy to learn with me.

The annual Lacrosse Friendship Game in May with students from Moira Secondary School (now Eastside Secondary) in Belleville, is a big event we took on as a class; learning to work together was great. Learning teachings around strawberries and the Strawberry Moon and working with Carol Anne Maracle, the caterer, I noticied all the work she put into preparing the Three Sisters Soup and awesome frybread to make everyone feel welcome. Participating in the Round Dance led by Mandy and Charlene Smart and Crystal Loft from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, let us all show unity that day. The 500 people who came to have lunch and watch the game that day, all dancing, was so great. Everyone was smiling and everyone wanted to be part of that energy.

What was a personal highlight for you as a student leader? Getting to present the following year at Four Winds Student Conference in front of 100s of LDSB and ALCDSB students and teachers with my peers about What Students Can Do for Reconciliation and then being invited to present to the trustees at LDSB for Indigenous Education month was really motivating. It was great to have all those adults at the school board really listening to me and engaged in reconciliation. I also participated in the first ever Student Voice Day. I understand the power of student voice, using my voice and that by speaking up I will help future students who go to school in LDSB.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I like to do ballet at 5678 Dance Studio – I do about seven hours a week to stay fit and to keep myself in a positive mindset.

What are your goals? Where do you see yourself in the future?

I got accepted at Trent and Carlton and I am waiting on the University of Toronto. I am working on my Queen’s Personal Statement of Excellence. I am thinking about Indigenous Studies and Gender Womens Studies and dream of a career where I work as a bridge between Indigenous peoples and the government.

Indigenous Student Leader: Bailey Wigmore

Bailey Wigmore is in Mr. Dee’s grade 6 class at Rideau Heights Public School and has gone to school there since Kindergarten. She is an active student and has recently joined the Student Indigenous Group. This is what she had to say:

What do you like about school? I’m in the Indigenous Student Group with 12 other kids. We do things like drum with Crystal Loft and Mandy Smart, dress smudge feathers with Danielle Lucas; dance, drum and sing in the gym together. It’s always a surprise what we do in the club. We got cedar and came back and made tea and learned about traditional uses for cedar. Ray Byrne is the supervisor of the club. Another time I was at Gould Lake and it was really good.

What would you like to share about your family? My gmum – we call her that because she says she’s way too young to be a grandmother - had a ceremony in Tyendinaga (Mohawk Territory). When I was really, really little my mum’s friend, made me a ribbon dress and I went to my first pow wow at Tyendinaga. I went to another one too but I just don’t remember where it was. I still keep that ribbon dress in a special box where I keep my special things – it’s a keepsake box. My great aunt makes frybread and corn soup.

What is something that you are proud of doing at school? My school did Orange Shirt Day this year and I had a bright orange shirt. The book Ray read to every class in school is called I Am Not A Number. He gave us a piece of paper in the shape of a shirt and I drew mine with checkers and I drew a basketball in the middle of it. This girl went to school and her mum sent her to school in a new orange shirt. It was taken away from her as soon as she got there. There’s a lot of bad things that went on there. They cut her hair and hurt her. Everyone in our school made a paper t-shirt and we had 200 orange paper t-shirts on a bulletin board in the hall.

Anything else? This year in September at Grass Creek Park, the whole school learned about smudging. One of my friends, Dakota, got to talk. He is Indigenous and taught the whole school about all four sacred medicines. There is no right or wrong way to smudge as long as you have a good mind about it. There’s a lot to it.

What do you do in your spare time? Can you recommend a book? I like reading. The book we read in class is called Ghost, that’s the character’s nick- name, it is a story about a track and field runner. I really liked this book because he loves basketball. Me and Ghost, we are two of the same people. I love the Toronto Raptors. I would like to get to a game.

What is something you would like to share about your class? Our class made a webpage about the Wendat. My question was about what was daily life like for the Wendat people. I found out a lot about what they ate, farming and hunting. Everyone in the class put their research onto the webpage. Mr. Dee posted it all for us.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future? I would like to learn Mohawk so I can speak to my great aunt. My mum now knows the water song and bear song. My mum comes in on Wednesdays to work with the whole school as a volunteer and she learned these songs with Crystal and Mandy.

When I finish school I’m going to be a doctor because I want to learn about people and help them.

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Anishinaabemowin Language Pilot at Perth Road and Loughborough Public Schools

This year is International Year of Indigenous Languages and we are so pleased to be working collaboratively with local Indigenous community partners and Anishinaabemowin language teachers Bond Strand and Maureen Buchanan, along with members of the Kingston Languages Nest, Janza Giangrosso, Deb St Amant, Judi Montgomery and others to create, faciliate and support Kindergarten to grade 3 students in a new Anishinaabemowin language pilot. Classroom teachers are very excited to be participating in the co-planning that will include learning some basic language skills, listening to seasonal stories and learning on the land. The program will get underway in February 2019. Chi' Miigwech!
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First Nation, Métis and Inuit Self-Identification in LDSB: Standing Proud

There are currently 645 self-identified First Nation, Métis and Inuit students attending schools within LDSB. Census population statistics would suggest that there is double this number in the school system. Benefits of filling in the form for the Standing Proud Indigenous Self-Identification process: focused support until graduation, invitations to attend Indigenous cultural events and programming, more classrooms will celebrate Indigenous peoples' histories, literatures, cultures and perspectives, teachers and staff will better understand Indigenous students, schools will better understand their Indigenous students' needs and achievements, access to the Indigenous Support Counsellor and access to leadership and college and university programs for First Nation, Métis and Inuit students.

A digital copy of the Self-Identification Registration is available online at the Board website in Indigenous Education. Paper copies go home to all students in November. For further information contact your school or Gillianne Mundell, Indigenous Education & Reconciliation Lead at 613-544-6925, Ext. 248 or Gillianne Mundell.

Indigenous Family Network

Meeting monthly, the Indigenous Family Network is an evening for children to engage in cultural activities, singing, drumming and preparing food. Parents come together to meet each other, talk and build community. For more information, please contact Kelly Maracle.

Indigenous Education Advisory Council

Four times a year, the former Indigenous Advisory Council, newly renamed the Indigenous Education Advisory Council, meets with participating members representing community organizations from many sectors, who work with both LDSB and Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic DSB representatives to discuss teaching and learning in Indigenous Education.

Minds Online Indigenous Education K-12: Events Happening

A new events feed is embedded in the Minds Online Indigenous Education K-12 space. LDSB special events such as film screenings, theatre performances and arts events, opportunities for educator and student learning, Indigenous community events and educator professional learning conferences are posted here. All educators in LDSB should be signed up to the course and able to access this space. The first 10 folks to send an email or tweet to @IndEdCoachLDSB to let us know how you have made use of the Events Happening calendar will earn an Indigenous resource for your classroom. Need help accessing the page, please contact Christine Jamieson.

Meet the newest members of LDSB Indigenous Program Team:

If you would like to submit the name of a student leader to be profiled in a future newsletter, please email Christine Jamieson.