Sudbury Catholic District School Board

Sweet Partnership: Holy Trinity Students Tap into Maple Syrup Making with Great Lakes Cultural Camp

A Day in the Anishinaabe Sugar Bush Camp

On April 9th, students from Holy Trinity School were in for an exciting day of hands-on learning exploring the tradition of maple syrup making. Led by experts from the Great Lakes Cultural Camp, students embarked on a journey to uncover the secrets of making Maple Syrup in an Anishinaabe Sugar Bush Camp. 

This engaging activity was coordinated by the school’s Indigenous Support Worker, Stacey Dell. Students from Grades 1-2 classes and kindergarten eagerly participated, making it a truly enriching experience.

Holy Trinity Students & Great Lakes Cultural Camp

Activity Highlights:

  1. Identifying Maple Trees: The students learned how to spot the Ninaatig, or Maple Tree, which is crucial for Maple Syrup production.
  2. Tapping and Gathering Sap: They participated in learning how to properly tap Maple Trees and safely collect the precious Maple Tree Water, or Ninaatigwaaboo.
  3. Boiling Down the Sap: With eager anticipation, students witnessed the transformation of the Maple Tree Water into rich Maple Syrup through the boiling process.
  4. Crafting Maple Sugar: Under the guidance of Noodin and Miisheen, the students learned the art of making Ziisbaakwad, or Sugar, from Maple Syrup.
  5. Sweet Rewards: Finally, they indulged in the fruits of their labour, tasting the sweet and savoury Maple Sugar they had helped create.

The Sudbury Catholic District School Board would like to thank Great Lakes Cultural Camp, including Maheengun, Small Cooks, Miisheen, and Noodin, for their invaluable teachings and for helping to organize this enriching experience for students. These experiences are essential in supporting students in fostering cultural understanding and appreciation. Chi miigwech to all who made this memorable day possible. 

St. James Staff Participate in Ribbon Skirt and Shirt Making

St. James Staff participated in a Professional Activity (PA) Day on November 10th. In addition to planning for Student Achievement, the St. James team actively engaged in culturally enriching activities, including Ribbon Skirt/Shirt making and Rock painting, coordinated by Jessie Gorman, the school’s Indigenous Support Worker (ISW), alongside her cousin Leanne.

The significance of the cultural background was explained for both activities and, fostered collaboration among staff while enabling them to forge numerous connections throughout the day.

“Incorporating Indigenous culture into our school community is an ongoing endeavour, embraced wholeheartedly by every member of our team,” says Jessie. “We recently devoted some time on our PA day to foster an understanding of Indigenous histories and culture, which is important in strengthening our school’s overall dedication to Truth and Reconciliation. The cultural learning on this day resonated deeply throughout staff and showcased the strong and genuine commitment St. James has for Truth and Reconciliation.”

During lunch, staff members enjoyed each other’s company while savouring homemade corn soup and Nish tacos. This shared experience not only nourished bodies but also strengthened the bonds within the team.

“The day showcased our commitment as Catholic Educators, blending professional development with cultural understanding. It was a day of learning, bonding, and living out our mission/vision as Catholic Educators.” Say’s Principal David Soehner.

Sudbury Catholic Schools Honour Indigenous Veteran’s Day

November 8 was Indigenous Veteran’s Day. It’s a day when we pay tribute to the invaluable contributions made by Indigenous veterans in Canadian military services. We’re pleased to share a few stories on how various school communities have observed this day.⁠

In the Southend, our school community at Holy Cross came together to recognize Indigenous Veteran’s Day and Remembrance Day. In addition to commemorating the sacrifices of our veterans, they also reflected on the precious gift of peace that we enjoy in Canada. Special appreciation goes to today’s readers – Vada, Abigail, and Maryse – for their exceptional contributions.⁠

Over at St. Anne, students collaborated with their school’s Indigenous Support Worker, Carissa Bruyere, to create unique medicine wheel poppies. These poppies serve as a heartfelt “Miigwech” to Indigenous veterans for their dedicated service to our nation—Miigwech Carissa for organizing this lesson. ⁠

St. James students in the Ojibwe Language class joined Atikameksheng Anishnawbek’s Remembrance Day service today. This annual community partnership continues to be an important opportunity for students to engage in meaningful actions and foster their learning. They sang ‘O Canada’ and participated in a recitation of ‘In Flanders Fields’ in Anishinaabemowin. Following this, they shared a meal with community members. Students demonstrated their thanks by helping with the post-event cleanup. Miigwech to Jessie Gorman, St. James’ Indigenous Support Worker (ISW), and the Atikameksheng community for facilitating this opportunity for students. Miigwech!

Treaties Recognition Week

At Sudbury Catholic Schools, we are called to strengthen our faith-based, inclusive, and equitable community. In preparation for Treaties Recognition Week – an annual commemoration which will be honoured on November 5-11, 2023, the Sudbury Catholic District School Board community is participating in learning opportunities that teach and uphold the importance of treaty rights and relationships to both indigenous and non indigenous communities.

What is Treaties Recognition Week?

In 2016, Ontario passed legislation declaring the first week of November as Treaties Recognition Week. This annual event honours the importance of treaties and helps students and residents of Ontario learn more about treaty rights and relationships.

In Ontario, treaties are as much a part of today as when they were first created. They are living documents and legally binding agreements that set out the rights, responsibilities and relationships of First Nations and the federal and provincial governments. Furthermore, we also acknowledge that Indigenous Nations had Treaty Agreements with one another before Europeans arrived, and that treaty-making itself, precedes North American settlement.

Whether Indigenous or not, treaties matter to everyone in Canada; we are all Treaty People. They represent a mutual commitment to building a prosperous future for everybody and Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities are responsible for knowing and upholding Treaty obligations. In between the personal activities being planned by our schools, we’re pleased to share that Sudbury Catholic’s Indigenous Education team has curated resources and materials to help students, staff, and community members commemorate this important week. A summary of these resources is provided below.

Resources for 2023 Treaties Education Week 

Robinson Huron Waasiidamaagewin – Virtual Presentations

It is our pleasure to share that the Robinson Huron Waasiidamaagewin is offering virtual presentations during Treaty Week. To access these resources, visit the Robinson Huron Waawiindamaagewin Treaty Week Youtube channel. 

The Government of Ontario

In addition to online presentations, Sudbury Catholic Schools have been provided with a wide range of video resources suitable for different grade levels to provide students with an opportunity to hear from Indigenous Elders or knowledge keepers. In these activities, students will learn about treaties and their importance in an age-appropriate way that’s flexible for teachers’ lesson planning. This opportunity allows Indigenous speakers to share their knowledge about the importance of treaties, treaty relationships and rights in Ontario.

The Government of Ontario has also supplied a number of teaching resources that can expand upon this topic. This includes a Treaties in Ontario infographic (PDF), which shows the number of treaties in Ontario, the regions they cover and the populations within treaty areas.

Videos: Indigenous Voices on Treaties

Treaties in Ontario Infographic

Treaty Teaching & Learning Resources

St. Benedict’s Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation Shines Through Student Initiatives

Since 2021, St. Benedict has made a commitment to be a legacy school with the Downie Wenjack Fund which honours a commitment to Truth and Reconciliation.

This year, students in Ms. Dowdall’s Indigenous Studies classes took part in the Truth and Reconciliation Relay hosted by Greater Sudbury Police Service. Additionally, students participated in a fence art project where they created a large mural stating, “Every Child Matters”. Students were able to participate in both events. Their ReconciliACTIONS were complimented with learning about the Residential School System and why they were taking part in the actions. The Honourable Murray Sinclair said, “Education is what got us into this mess, education will get us out.”

For more information on becoming a legacy school visit www.legacyschools.ca.

St. Charles School Students Make Bannock to Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day

Led by Indigenous Support worker Sandra Migwans, Grade 2/3 French Immersion students at St. Charles Chelmsford had the opportunity to make Fry Bread (Bannock) in celebration of National Indigenous Day. Students learned about the history Bannock, incorporated some Ojibwa language and learned about the process of baking. Students enjoyed the Bannock with strawberry jam; which symbolizes the connection between mind, body and spirit. 

Staff and Students Bear Witness To Jordan’s Principle

On Wednesday, May 10th, staff and students honoured the memory of Jordan River Anderson and took the time to Bear Witness. Bear Witness Day serves as a reminder – and a day for us all to “bear witness” that First Nations children receive the services and supports they need, when they need them. Below are a few examples of activities that took place in our schools:

Holy Trinity Students brought in their favourite stuffed animals and learned about the importance of Bear Witness Day.

Kindergarten students at St. Anne School brought their teddy bears outside for Teddy Bear Picnic.

LSC203 staff and students at St. Benedict C.S.S learned about Jordan while having a tea party. Afterwards they coloured teddy bears in his honour.

St. Anne Students Participate in Water Walk

St. Anne Students travelled to the traditional lands of Wahnapitae First Nation to participate in a Water Walk with the support from Ms. Carissa, the school’s Indigenous Support worker. They read the story “The Water Walker” and received personalized letters from local author Joanne Robertson. Students sang, feasted, laughed, celebrated, and learned about the importance and sacredness of water . They then gathered to give thanks and offer semma (sacred tobacco) to the waters of Lake Wahnapitae.

Chi-miigwetch to Caroline Recollet and Tammy Cheverette from the community who shared traditional knowledge with us, Jamie Macdonald, Anishinabek Student Support Counsellor, and other members from the community that helped make this learning opportunity available to our students.

St. James School Collaborates on a Mural with Artist Jessica Somers

St. James students have a unique opportunity to work with Jessica Somers, a visual artist with Focal Point Artistry, and collaborate on a mural. The opportunity is made possible by a grant provided by Ontario Arts Council – Michelle Thiessen completed the proposal with the project in mind. Students will be able to feel inspired, creative and innovative as they work alongside Jessica to create a hand-made mural representative of the Indigenous teachings and land.

To kick off this partnership, the school welcomed Elders Nokomis Julie and Mishomis Frank who guided students about the importance of Indigenous teachings and how the land in which we live on contributes to these teachings. Students spoke about things such as bears, trees, water and fish. Jessica then allowed students to take their first steps and encouraged them to draw what they were inspired by. Students eagerly leaped into action, using pencils, markers and colouring crayons to convey their thoughts, emotions and inspirations.

“I like to draw because it is very calming and you can use your imagination to create whatever you want,” said Michael, Grade 3 student.

“It was very cool to hear from Nokomis Julie and Mishomis Frank about the land and the different things that make up Indigenous teachings. I like that we are working with a real artist too, it makes us feel special!” said Mia, Grade 2 student.

Classes will work with Jessica and collaborate on the mural throughout the month of February. Stay tuned to see this work of art come to life!

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