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Standing with Mother Earth


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.

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“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.

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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.

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WSD Traditional Knowledge Keeper Myra Laramee opens the conference on Sept. 21.

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