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Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day at home

June 9, 2020 Cory Hare, ATA News Managing Editor


ATA resources among many available online

Indigenous presenter Phillip Campiou holds up a braid of sweetgrass during a webinar the ATA recently recorded entitled Smudging Circles.

Although social gathering is still not possible, National Indigenous Peoples Day is continuing to go ahead.

The annual event takes place June 21, and the federal government is encouraging all Canadians to celebrate at home by taking advantage of resources and opportunities that are available online or in alternate formats.

Melissa Purcell, the ATA’s staff officer specializing in Indigenous education, agrees that it’s important to recognize the resiliency of Indigenous peoples and the fact that Indigenous peoples are flourishing.

“It’s important to continue to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of Indigenous peoples of this land,” Purcell said.

Through its website and various social media feeds, the ATA has a variety of Indigenous resources available, including a webinar that Purcell recently co-hosted with the ATA’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Council. The webinar touches on the ways of Indigenous peoples and the history of National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day.

“There’s a whole variety of webinars that have been recorded and made available for teachers to access until the end of June,” Purcell said.

Interest still high

Following the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Indigenous education became a central component of Alberta’s updated Teaching Quality Standard as well as newly developed standards for school and division leaders.

Interest in Indigenous knowledge has been high among teachers throughout the province, but experienced a temporary lull when teachers were suddenly forced to switch to remote and distance teaching. After a couple weeks of adjustment, Purcell noticed an increase in requests for available resources and support.

She will continue to deliver live webinars directly to schools throughout June.

“Teachers are still engaged and they’re continuing to be inspired by colleagues, by others, to engage in this work,” Purcell said. ❚

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