Project Profile

Project Title:
Shannen's Dream and the Fight for Democracy
Imagineaction Social Action Projects
School Name:
Featherston Drive Public School
School board / First Nations school jurisdiction:
Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
Project Theme:
  • Engage [active & participatory citizenship]
  • Lead [leadership]
Grade Level:
Subject Areas:
Aboriginal Studies
Community Partners:
First Nation Caring Society

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Shannen's Dream and the Fight for Democracy

Raising awareness about the rights for equal access to education for Aboriginal children on reserve. Grade 5 students from Featherston Drive have attended the priliminary hearing at the Canadian Human Right Commission on September 25th, 2012. In February, they will continue to follow this court case that will decide in Federal Court if the Canadian Government has been discriminating against First Nations children living on reserve. In order to prepare for Social Action on February 14th (Have a Hearth Campaign - Gathering of students on Parliament Hill standing up for the rights of all children living in Canada), they are now researching about democracy and what it means for children living on reserves. This will lead them to write letters to Prime Minister, Member of Parliament and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.

Update (December-06-12)

Why did we go to the Human Rights Tribunal?

On September 25, 2012 our class went to the Human Rights tribunal to support First Nations children who don't have a proper school like we do. We went there to see why the Canadian government do what they want and won't build schools for all children. We all know that the law is that every child has a proper education. So why doesn't the government give First Nations proper schools; just because they're aboriginal? It just doesn't seem fair to anyone in reserves. We also went there to say: “Hey, this isn't fair; why do we get a great education and they don't?” and “Why do we get about $10 000 for education and they only get about $6 000?” As part of democracy too, all citizens should have EQUALITY;even for aboriginal. Shannen's Dream is also that every child gets a good school and education. Just like 4=4, their education [at least should be] like our education, which is good. Canada thinks this is an “on going” problem, so the best answer to stop the problem is: JUST BUILD A NEW SCHOOL FOR THEM!

Update (May-10-13)

The Blanket Exercise

The class of Mme Annie, grade 5 organized a workshop to raise awareness about the invisibility of First Nations, Métis and Inuits in Canada. We wanted to learn more about why there are so few indigenous people in our school. The blanket exercise told us many things about how the First Nations lived a long time ago in history. First, we were given papers explaining maps of where their homes were. Many blankets were placed on the ground and each blanket represented the land of which they lived in. All the students in the gym got on the blankets representing the people in the land. They lived happily until the Europeans came and made treaties with them. But when they shared with the Europeans,they would take all their resources. But one by one the students got off the blankets representing the people dying or disappearing. The population decreased.

We learned that the Europeans didn't keep their treaties and the government was on their side. They took children away from their families from 1820 to 1970 to take them to boarding school. Most of them never returned because of diseases. The children weren't allowed to see their families for 10 to 12 months. 9 out of 10 First Nations, Métis and Inuits died because of the Europeans. They were not free and they weren't allowed to speak their language and express their culture.

Most of us wondered why the Europeans never kept their treaties and why they were selfish with the land and all its resources. We also wondered what type of diseases were spread and which was the most common. We would like to ask if the blankets were sewn by hand or by machine? This was our interesting lesson on the First Nation, Métis people and the Inuits.