This week on InFocus, Host Melissa Ridgen takes a closer look at what we’re teaching our kids in school.
Are children — Indigenous and non-Indigenous — getting enough Indigenous content in the classroom?
Myra Laramee is the elder and knowledge keeper for the Winnipeg School Division. She’s also a retired teacher.
“People are trying to take what we’ve always had as Indigenous people and show others what that looks like, what that sounds like, what that feels like,” said Laramee, who believes what is being taught has improved greatly since she started teaching in the 1970s.
“(Teachers) are taking young people to sweat lodges that have never been before. And not just Indigenous kids, but all kids who want to go and want to learn about that. I know that in our school division Indigenous Learning is for everyone.”
Kevin Kakegamic, Indigenous Outreach Co-ordinator at Thunder Bay Catholic School Division, said his division is working hard to bring Indigenous teachings to students and build bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students
“Last year we started with a program called Walking the Path…an 11-module program that specially offers teachings on important topics such as the history of residential school,” he said.
“Another module is on reconciliation, the seven Grandfather teachings, the medicine wheel.”
The program is being delivered to Grade 6 students at two schools and pairs kids to work on modules together. It will be in several more schools in the new year.
“The feedback I get from the teachers and the students and also other staff from the board really think that this is a good program,” Kakegamic said.
“It gets the weekly 75-minute engagement learning about the program. And also, too, it’s nice to see the non-Indigenous students getting really interested and engaged too and learning about the culture.”