May. 17, 2022
Hundreds of students across the CBE took part in the Moose Hide Campaign this year.
Bringing together students, staff, Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers, community advocates and members of the public, the annual Moose Hide Campaign is an Indigenous-led, grassroots movement that began in 2011 as a way to raise awareness about the violence that is disproportionately experienced by Indigenous women and children.
Lester B. Pearson High School held a full day of ceremony, learning, reconciliation and remembrance activities in honour of the Moose Hide Campaign on May 12.
The day began with a daybreak ceremony with Elder Randy Turning Robe Sr. and the Turning Robe Drummers, who opened the day with a blessing and an honour song for the school community.
Tik Tok star Notorious Cree also led a virtual workshop for students and staff on moving through life with love, and the impact dance and arts have had in his life. He also led the nation-wide keynote livestream and Walk to End Violence. Lester B. Pearson students planned their own Walk to End Violence within their community to raise awareness and protest the violence experienced by Indigenous women and children. The day finished with a virtual workshop led by Youth Advocate Theland Kicknosway, where students gathered in talking circles to share their learnings and support each other in the journey of reconciliation.
Principal Kenneth Chee said, “The most important goal of any school is to provide their students with a strong sense of belonging and hope. For my learning community this belonging comes from building an understanding.”
Catherine Nichols Gunn, John G. Diefenbaker, Rosemont, Jack James, Glenbrook and MidSun schools also took part in the Moose Hide Campaign.
The Moose Hide Campaign provided educators at Lester B. Pearson School an opportunity in the weeks leading up to the event to hold school-wide learnings about Truth and Reconciliation, the meaning of the Red Dresses and the significance of the Walk to End Violence. These educational opportunities put into action the goals of CBE’s recently released Indigenous Education Holistic Lifelong Learning Framework (HLLF). The lessons and the events of the day enabled students to connect to the land, their school and Indigenous cultural practices. It also enabled teachers to walk alongside students in the journey of learning through meaningful engagement, respectful relationships and a spiritual way of being.
Events and days of learning such as the Moose Hide Campaign provide an opportunity for the CBE to live out the goals in the Education Plan, the Indigenous Education HLLF, and our commitment to Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.
Jackie Hodgson, Learning Leader at Lester B. Pearson summarized the impact of the day. “What most surprised me was the emotion I felt and saw others experience in the coming together of all backgrounds of Canadians in support of this cause,” says Hodgson. “I saw the expression and heard the sound of Indigenous students and their families feeling seen and heard, and that was the most important outcome of all.”