Ajax High School
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The value of this project as an experiential learning opportunity for curricular content, historical inquiry skills, political/social/community engagement, 21st century skills, traditional knowledge, and life skills in general cannot be understated.
Sixteen members of the FNMI Studies program began working towards the Youth Exchange in September 2013, but the actual exchange experience did not take place until late March/early April of 2014.
The learning for all involved was quite impactful. The students were humbled by the trust and generosity of the Sandy Bay community in sharing their cultural traditions and welcoming them into their tight-knit community. Holly believes now that they were accepted as family because they were there to learn. Holly's students understand that solutions to the complex issues faced by communities like Sandy Bay will only come through true partnership.
The most notable learning outcome was a greater understanding of the complicated place of First Nations in Canadian history and of the relationship between that history and current issues facing FNMI Canadians. This understanding made Holly's students passionate advocates for FNMI rights and enthusiastic educators on everything from the Indian Residential School system to the inappropriate nature of a Pocahontas costume.