Brampton school launches cultural exchange with First Nations

Central Peel Secondary School in Brampton has partnered with the First Nations school, Chief Sunrise Education Centre in the Northwest Territories (NWT), to launch a cultural exchange program. They kicked things off with a comprehensive school presentation with cultural activities like the KAIROS blanket exercise.

Guest speakers included Henriette Thompson, director of Public Witness for Social and Ecological Justice at the Anglican Church of Canada and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Marjorie Paleshi, of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit working group for Ontario Secondary Teachers’ Federation also spoke at the event.

Students who participated in the KAIROS blanket exercise, and are part of the cultural exchange, offered potent feedback during the reflection ceremony.

“All I can say is… I’m just disappointed.  Disappointed in Canada. I can’t believe what Canada has done not only to its own people but to the ones that it has fostered,” said Michael Sarafyn (pictured).

“It is an honour to be part of this awareness…I hope more people take time to learn about Indigenous history, that way history does not repeat itself,” said Maeva Ma-youh Killah. “I, myself, am an immigrant from Cameroon, yet I have a better life than the real first peoples of Canada.”

As part of the cultural exchange, local students will also be able to visit the school in K’atl’odeech First Nations while their students will visit Central Peel in May 2018.

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