Teaching our girls about the issues facing Canada’s Indigenous peoples has long been a focus at SCS, beginning with the creation of a Native Studies course ten years ago and the nurturing of a long-term partnership between the School and the Moose Cree First Nation in Moose Factory, Ontario. Our girls’ involvement extends beyond the curriculum; our Indigenous Affairs Circle is a regular gathering of students in Grades 7 – 12 who are interested in promoting Indigenous issues.
This year, the Circle is led by two Grade 11 students, Carys H. and Victoria B. Both girls developed a strong personal interest in Indigenous affairs after taking Ms Scott’s Native Studies course in Grade 10 and travelling to Moose Factory. The Circle currently has over 60 club members, and regularly looks for opportunities to educate the wider SCS community. In the fall, they organized an Orange Shirt Day at SCS, to highlight the need for continued conversation about the ongoing effects of Residential Schools in Canada; this past February 14, they led SCS’s participation in Have a Heart Day, a youth-led reconciliation event that brings together Canadians to help ensure First Nations children have the services they need.
Carys and Victoria have been particularly impressed with the interest and involvement of Grade 7 and 8 students this year; these Middle School girls were very invested in the holiday hamper drive, which provided donations of food and other household essential items in hampers to First Nations Public School families in Toronto.
Next up: the Indigenous Affairs Circle is spearheading an ambitious undertaking – SCS’s first Indigenous Issues Symposium. Hosted by SCS on May 3, 2018, the event will welcome Andrée Cazabon, president and founder of Cazabon Productions, a Canadian film company dedicated to films focused on reconciliation. Ms Cazabon will also be screening her film, Third World Canada. The symposium provides students and staff with an opportunity to dialogue about reconciliation, and goals for moving forward. You can get your tickets online now.
The Indigenous Affairs Circle meets on Wednesdays over lunch. Upper School students are welcome to get involved!
And, check back soon for another edition of #SCSSpotlight, where we profile a different student, activity, or interesting event!