An education guide has been added to the garnetsjourney.com residential school to reconciliation website for use by educators at all levels.
“The work of creating awareness goes on — this is one more way of telling Canadians about their history,” said Garnet Angeconeb, a former Aboriginal Healing Foundation board member from Lac Seul who set up the website along with former CBC Radio journalist Ashley Wright, who now teaches journalism at Algonquin College and Carleton University.
“We’re hoping people will feel free to use it — a number of people have said they will use it. People have said it is very resourceful, so I have to say the reaction has been very positive. We also encourage people to share the website with whomever can use it in a good way as a teaching tool.”
The education guide provides an introduction to Angeconeb, the website and to each video on the site; curriculum connections from Grade 5 up to post-secondary subjects; lesson plans including background information, summaries of each video, discussion questions, terms to know and research and inquiry suggestions; helpful tips on incorporating storytelling into an educational context and suggestions on moving from awareness to action.
“We are lucky in this day and age to have the technologies that we do,” Angeconeb said. “People can take a look almost first-hand in term of someone’s experiences.”
Angeconeb hopes the education guide will be used by educators from elementary schools up to secondary schools.
“It could also be used by people who work with First Nations people,” Angeconeb said. “But not only that, it’s a guide for people like social workers, people in the justice system, including police, (and) health care workers to learn about the legacy of the Indian residential school.”
The garnetsjourney.com website was set up in 2012 featuring a series of 33 videos in six chapters that share Angeconeb’s journey through the residential school system and on to reconciliation.
“We want people to use (the website) as a source of information so that people can get educated and learn about that particular part of Canadian history,” Angeconeb said. “They are all fairly short videos about different things, going right from life before residential school to what it was like going to residential school to the life of dealing with the effects of residential school after residential school — you know, the healing and the pain and the suffering that people do endure after residential school.”
The website begins with a 21-minute mini-documentary about Angeconeb’s journey from the trap line to residential school to today.
“I know that this is totally impossible, but I would give anything if I could turn the clock back,” Angeconeb said in the mini-documentary. “And continue on from where the residential school system interrupted a way of life. I would give anything to get that back.”
About 150,000 First Nations and Aboriginal children were taken from their families during the 1800s and 1900s by the federal government and sent to residential schools operated across Canada by a number of Christian denominations, including the Catholic, Anglican, United and Presbyterian churches.
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