Grade 8 Students Challenge our Students in Assembly
History is not only learning about the past. It’s finding ways to remember, inform others, memorialize and take action. Students in Ms. Ralph’s Grade 8 History class have been discussing Canada’s 150, but from the perspective of our First Nations people. We were surprised to learn about Canada’s dark past as we focused on Residential Schools. We read first-hand accounts from survivors, delved deeper into the meaning of Truth and Reconciliation, and were saddened to learn about the story of Chanie Wenjack as portrayed in Gord Downie’s hauntingly beautiful Secret Path film. The Grade 8 students were motivated and determined to take action. To raise awareness they wrote articles and created a beautiful and informative display. To memorialize the event they wrote songs, poems, and created beautiful pieces of artwork. Finally, at this week’s assembly, they shared their knowledge with the students of Rotherglen. They challenged the students to take part in a symbolic “Walk for Chanie”. Chanie was a 12 year old boy who ran away from a residential school but died on the way home. October 23rd marked the 51st anniversary of his lonely death by the side of the railway tracks on his way home to be reunited with his family. During this week, if students walk 2 laps per day at recess time, we will have completed Chanie’s walk home. Together as a student body, we can acknowledge Canada’s dark past and begin to heal as a country. As Gord Downie said, “We must look North, and do something.” What will you do?