North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
Oct 26
Lynnmour/Xa7elcha – Secret Path — Walk for Wenjack

By Cindy Hudson, Principal.

SecretPath_2021_01.jpgAs a community, staff and students at Lynnmour/Xa7elcha have been undertaking a committed learning journey throughout the past 12 months. As a Downie Wenjack Legacy School, Lynnmour/Xa7elcha is dedicated to making positive changes and learning together.

This month, each class examined aspects of life at residential schools and the history of the Indian residential school system in Canada. Classes from kindergarten to grade 7 took the initiative to create information posters and boards about what they had learned. As a cumulative event, the school community participated in a learning walk for understanding to share knowledge and reflections.

SecretPath_2021_02.jpgOn Thursday October 21, every class at Lynnmour/Xa7elcha shared their learnings on an important Secret Path--Walk for Wenjack. The Secret Path tells the story of Chanie Wenjack, a young boy taken to residential school in Kenora, Ontario. He eventually ran away in an attempt to make it home (over 600 km away) and sadly was unsuccessful in his journey. Chanie’s legacy is one of education for us all and a call to action.

In classrooms, students have become leaders in listening and sharing. During our Secret Path--Walk for Wenjack, student leaders provided stories and information to all classes (and any guest who happened to be walking by) about what Indian residential schools were, how they looked, what some students experienced, and where they were located in B.C. The day was full of learning, reflection, listening and talking about why it is important for all of us to know what happened and how we can move forward to ensure all students are set on a path of success.

SecretPath_2021_03.jpgStaff and students at Lynnmour/Xa7elcha are committed to infusing Indigenous ways of knowing into their classrooms. They have embraced opportunities for learning--from traditional arts and weaving, to professional development, to listening and learning the truth about Canada’s history from firsthand and secondhand accounts.

We appreciate the support and guidance of the North Vancouver School District’s Indigenous Education Team. Furthermore, I personally am so grateful for the open hearts, open minds and leadership of so many of the staff members at Lynnmour/Xa7elcha because without their commitment and passion for making a difference, students would not have the learning experiences they do.

The history of Canada is our collective history. We need to understand what really happened, as reconciliation is a responsibility for all of us to take on in order to heal and come together as a country. Our hope is that the students of Lynnmour/Xa7elcha took their learning experience home with them and shared it with their families.

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