This is a story. A story about two educators who had a dream about creating a school where children can learn about the world around them and fall in love with this world. A place for children to explore with all their senses; to indulge their curiosities with questions and wonder; to develop relationships with other children, adults and everything around them; to feel that underneath everything we are all connected; to learn experientially about their own particular place; to value elders in their community; to reflect on history and discover memory; to become socially responsible and accountable for our actions; and to move through their days with joy and laughter.
This story is still being written each and every day as the characters, now many more than in in the first chapter, join together to bring all this to fruition. Each character is an integral part of the story, adding certain nuances and ideas. The adult characters have worked very hard to think deeply about this dream, often doubting they are doing enough, always questioning purpose and understanding. The children characters in this story also do a lot of work, helping to teach the adult characters about learning.
Last Friday, a group of mindful educators from the Delta School District Aboriginal Education Department joined us for a day of reciprocal professional development. The team participated in our morning activities with children, engaging with educators and children as we played games, walked together and explored. The Delta team then went off with Emily & Kate to indulge their own their learning through some hands on activities, followed by cooking lunch together, much of it from our land.
After lunch, all our TNNS educators joined the Delta team in the Cottage to discuss many big ideas: Indigenous Ways of Knowing, working within this framework, how to address concepts in an age appropriate, authentic way, building relationship, learning respectful protocols and much, much more. The Delta team empowered us with their thinking and knowledge, and we are most grateful to them.
This part of the story, this particular chapter where the two teams came together for a day, revealed a beautiful truth- the school and the characters are weaving in the principles they uphold, slowly adding colour, texture and length to the tapestry. They are working from a place of thoughtfulness, authenticity and appreciation. They have work to do, growing to do, but the path is clear, despite its small arteries leading in a myriad of directions. The characters hearts swelled as the beauty of this dream became a reality.
For more information, explore this website the First Nations Education Steering Committee
Another chapter- a parent evening where families unite to build community, discuss education and share experience. Lindsay, one of our Eagle students’ mum, has offered us so much since her two daughter have been in our programs. A thoughtful and gorgeous piece of art work, a Family Walk-About where we learned about native species of plants, and now this offering of a Smudging Ceremony. Lindsay opened our parent evening with a warm heart, inviting us to participate in a Smudging Ceremony, a traditional Indigenous ceremony which often uses smoke from sage to purify and cleanse our body, mind and collective space. Honestly, it felt amazing- somehow bringing us all together in an equal way. We spoke about an Indigenous frame work, sharing stories and experiences, with a recognition we are all in different places on this learning journey but most importantly, we all are on the journey. We discussed our own cultures, recognizing the similarities and differences in our upbringings. This was a riveting chapter!
Excited for the next chapter!