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November is Indigenous Month at Kawartha Pine Ridge schools

Cecilia Nasmith

By Cecilia Nasmith, Northumberland Today

(Postmedia Network)

(Postmedia Network)

NORTHUMBERLAND -- At its most recent board meeting, the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board heard news of a number of community and school activities planned to celebrate the month of November as Indigenous Peoples Awareness Month.

The designation was adopted in February as a recommendation from its Indigenous Education Advisory Committee, as a November time frame aligns with Treaty Recogniton Week, Louis Riel Day and inuit Day.

The report to the board included plans by a number of schools to welcome speakers, artists, authors and elders during the month.

Among the schools was Cobourg Collegiate Institute, which plans a Nov. 15 screening of the movie Silent Thunder at 7 p.m. The event will include two special guest speakers -- Kevin Lamoureux, National Education Lead for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation in Winnipeg, and Shirley Williams of Wikwemikong First Nation, Trent University professor emerita and residential-school survivor.

"As a Board, we have identified the need to champion Indigenous education, achievement and awareness as a key commitment for our schools and within our organization as a whole," board chair Cathy Abraham said in the announcement.

"We greatly look forward to participating in a number of the activities that are planned, and we are heartened that our schools have embraced this acknowledgement with such passion and respect.

"We are incredibly honoured to be welcoming so many guests and knowledge holders into our schools, and want to encourage everyone to join us for these community events."

Jennifer Leclerc, director of education, added that educators have much work to do in continuing to raise their students' awareness and understanding about Indigenous histories, cultures, perspectives and contributions.

"In its actions, including its support for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action 62 and 63, and the need to improve educational curriculum and learning resources for all students on Indigenous peoples in Canadian history, and on the history and legacy of residential schools, this board is very committed to this work," Leclerc stated.