November 18, 2013                                                                    

DSBN Celebrates Aboriginal Students During FNMI Awareness Week

From November 25 – 29, students at the District School Board of Niagara will celebrate the traditions, perspectives and contributions of aboriginal students during First Nation, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Awareness Week.

“This week will serve as an opportunity to highlight FNMI perspectives to staff and students throughout the DSBN,” said Georgia Groat, Curriculum Consultant for First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education. “The events are designed to educate students and staff about the historical and contemporary issue of Aboriginal people in Canada. The week will also be an excellent opportunity to share the positive contributions made every day by FNMI people.”

The week will open with a traditional Sunrise Ceremony at the DSBN Education Centre on Monday, November 25, at 7:15 a.m. The ceremony is performed to welcome the beginning of a new day, as well as express thanks and appreciation.

Following Monday’s ceremony, students in Grade 4 – 6 will take part in the first of two full-day symposiums at School Support Services in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Acclaimed children’s book author David Bouchard will be the keynote speaker. Many of David’s books focus on Aboriginal history, traditions and culture. Other sessions will include traditional medicines, rattle workshops and traditional dance. Over 320 students are expected to take part in the elementary symposiums.

Students in Grades 7 – 12 will also have the opportunity to share in the learning when they take part in full-day conferences scheduled for November 28 and 29, also at School Support Services. Canadian novelist Joseph Boyden will serve as the event’s keynote speaker. Boyden is currently nominated for the Governor General’s Literacy Award for his latest work, The Orenda. More than 320 students are expected to participate in the sessions.

Educational resources are also being provided to elementary and secondary schools to support classroom discussions and instruction.