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On the historic grounds of Fort
Gibraltar in Whittier Park, WSD Grade 5-12 students gathered for the Standing
with Mother Earth event.
The two-day conference, held Sept.
21 and 22, saw students learning about ecological issues from both Indigenous
and contemporary perspectives.
Travelling in their school groups,
students visited different learning tipis based around the elements of air,
water, land and fire.
“We hope that students will be
inspired to go back to their schools and find an action that their class or
school could continue to focus on,” said WSD Education for Sustainable
Development Consultant Chantelle Cotton. “And they will be carrying historical
and contemporary knowledge with them.”
For example, students who learned
about watersheds from the Manitoba Eco-Network could continue to study their
local watersheds, and engage in clean-up projects.
The event was the result of
partnerships between the WSD and Peace Days, Festival du Voyageur, River East
Transcona School Division, the Manitoba Eco-Network, Food Matters Manitoba and
the Healing Forest Project.
Ms. Cotton said the event was part
of a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action.
“I will be meeting with the
teachers of these students throughout the year as they find an action they can
take at the school level,” Ms. Cotton said. “It’s a year long process.”
The students will present their
projects at WSD’s major ESD conference on May 9.
WSD Traditional Knowledge Keeper Myra Laramee opens the conference on Sept. 21.