OCT OEEO

PS_March_2018

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CA R E E R S R E V I E W S British Columbia's Schools Are Hiring Ontario Teachers Learn why Ontario teachers are coming to teach in BC's urban or rural school districts. BC schools are now hiring to fill over 400 full-time, part-time and on-call opportunities. Don't wait any longer, make the move today! makeafuture.ca/teach-in-bc Work, Live and Play Here I Am Not a Number, Second Story Press, Toronto, 2016, hardcover, ISBN 978-1-927583-94-4, 32 pages, $18.95, distributed by University of Toronto Press, secondstorypress.ca I Am Not a Number BY JENNY KAY DUPUIS AND KATHY KACER, ILLUSTRATED BY GILLIAN NEWLAND First Nations people who were sent to residential schools have a heart-wrenching story to tell that may be difficult for many children to hear. So how do you go about telling it? In I Am Not a Number an Indigenous educator, an award-winning author and an illustrator have collaborated to create a sensitive story about the plight of Jenny Kay Dupuis's grandmother who, as a child, was sent to a residential school. There, she was stripped of her family, her hair and even her name, Irene. Known instead as number 759, she endured the harsh discipline and isolation of what those schools really were — factories designed to eradicate the heritage and culture of First Nations people. The book supports the social studies curricu- lum requirement for students in Grades 6 and up to learn about the forced removal of First Nations and Métis peoples from their families. A picture walk in advance of the reading could help students formulate questions as they look at the sombre tones of the illustrations, the pained expressions on Irene's family's faces, the hand that cuts Irene's hair and the harsh faces of her new caregivers at the school. Teachers could then read the text, pausing regularly to allow students to gather the contextual data supporting the images, to internalize and discuss it. Further questions may then be generated to deepen the inquiry. Is Irene a reliable source? Is the book a reliable depiction of history? I Am Not a Number is based on a true story and includes the non- fictionalized account of the real Irene. What other evidence can students look at to gather data? Rereading I Am Not a Number after students have had the opportunity to gather other sources will give them the opportunity to evaluate and draw conclusions about the narrator's perspective. What does that kind of early childhood experience mean for the identity and culture of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people? Though haunting and dissonant, educators must address Canada's role in depriving a whole people of their heritage. Only by truly engaging with our past and talking with students about these injustices, can we embark on the journey together toward truth and reconciliation. Jennifer Wyatt, OCT, is the junior school principal of The York School in Toronto.

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