The Tsawout Learning House in Saanich and Pender Island School came together to nurture new connections and understandings between youth. This reconciliation initiative involved twelve middle years students who came together weekly for eight full days of learning, connecting, understanding and creating friendships. This occurred through many shared experiences. Students learned about their shared and different histories, and heard first-hand experiences from a residential school survivor and Elder. Participants were active in drumming, canoeing, hiking, having fun together, singing, making music and many other hands-on activities.
They were guided by two teachers, an Elder, and a mentor. As part of the project, they also presented a final project with songs, skits and their documentary film to their school, community and families. This was very well received.
A traditional salmon pit cook was part of the project—feeding an entire school—with all the Youth Leadership Project students taking a leadership role. Read more about the pit cook here.
The story is currently being shown on Shaw Cable Channel 4, on the program Indigenous Voice (nine times per week until April 10), with a short interview with Elder Willard as an introduction. To find the program airtime check the TV Guide for Channel 4. You can also view this feature on YouTube.