ReconciliACTIONs from Argyle Alternative High School in Winnipeg, MB

By: Kathryn Foley-Licandro

Argyle Alternative High School staff and students at the Residential School Museum in Portage La Prairie, MB with special guests, Lorraine Daniels and Patricia Myran.

Argyle Alternative High School became a Legacy School in May 2021. As an alternative high school, located in the heart of the North End of Winnipeg, on Treaty One Territory and home of the Metis Nation, our student body identifies as mostly Indigenous. Indigenous education is a core value at our school and included in all our programming. Becoming a Legacy School allowed us to engage our community in the journey towards Reconciliation. Becoming a Legacy School has provided the resources and toolkits toward ReconciliACTIONS.

When school started in 2021, our intention was to take our students and staff to the Cecile Jeffery Residential School in early October. With the pandemic restrictions and with many of our students in the care of Child and Family Services, we were not able to cross the provincial border. We put our thinking caps on and headed out to explore new options. Pat Mainville, our principal, suggested that we explore the Residential School Museum in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba.

Argyle Alternative High School staff and students participating in a sharing circle.

On September 28th, 2021, with our masks on and residents of Long Plains First Nation ready for our arrival, we headed out to Portage La Prairie to visit the National Indigenous Residential School Museum of Canada. Our students and staff were deeply honored to meet with survivors, Lorraine Daniels and Patricia Myran. The ladies shared their stories before we toured the museum, and then shared a meal on the land together where a great bald eagle watched over us! During our sharing circle, the eagle actually flew over us several times to remind us that we are loved and that the Eagle carries our prayers to the Creator. It was an amazing day of hard work and learning together as a community.

Students and staff from Argyle Alternative High School sharing stories and participating in a Walk for Wenjack with Lorraine Daniels and Patricia Myran.

Our second big ReconciliACTION was during the Secret Path Week. Again, we were honored to have Lorraine and Patricia join us all the way from Portage La Prairie and walk for Chanie. We decided to walk to the site of the “Muddy Waters” at the Forks where the Canadian Human Rights Museum is located. We gathered on the steps and heard stories about courage and forgiveness. After, we walked back to our school along the Red River, had Tacos in a bag to fill our bellies, and we said, “until we meet again” to the women who have changed us forever and reached our hearts with their kindness and words; we will never forget them. We look forward to participating in many more experiences like this as we move forward on this journey.

Legacy Schools: We’ve got lots going on!

It’s been a challenging year to teach and lead youth, but the good news is that spring is in sight! Our annual spring poster contest, Youth Ambassador program, and Artist Ambassador programs are in full swing, and we want you to get involved!

Youth Ambassador Applications are OPEN!

We are happy to announce that the DWF Youth Ambassador Program will be taking place in July and August of 2022. The program allows individuals to gain practical work experience and develop leadership skills by connecting two groups of 50 Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth ages 16 – 25 throughout Canada. While learning about Canada’s true history, youth will develop their understanding of what reconciliation means to them, how to apply it in their communities, and become leaders of positive change. Learn more about the program and how to apply below.

Apply to the 2022 Youth Ambassador Program

Upcoming DWF Live & Events

Cody Coyote | Hip-Hop / Electronic Artist

Cody Coyote was born in Ottawa, Ontario and is of Ojibwe/Irish descent with ancestry from Matachewan First Nation. With his fusion of profound lyricism accompanied by influential sound, this multi-award-award winning Hip-Hop/Electronic artist grasps listeners’ attention and delivers a mesmerizing performance.

When: Wednesday, March 9, 10:00 am ET

Register Here

Mimi O’Bonsawin | Musician | FRENCH SESSION

Mimi O’Bonsawin epitomizes the powerful scenery of Northern Ontario and the beauty of its waters through her music, all the while yielding to her French Canadian and Abenaki roots. Her musical creations flow through a centre of love, with the intention of giving back and spreading awareness.

Her album, ELLE DANSE, is a self-produced French EP that has been gaining momentum with placements on Spotify, Amazon, and Apple Music curated playlists. ELLE DANSE was in ELMNT FM’s top 10 Best Albums of 2020, and it was recently nominated for two prizes at the TRILLE OR Awards.

When: Tuesday, April 5, 1:00pm ET

Register Here

Highlighting your ReconciliACTIONS

James Morden Elementary School students created art and reflection pieces on residential schools and Chanie’s story.

Students at James Morden Elementary in Niagara Falls, Ontario took part in an Ask, Imagine, Design, Build, Reflect, and Share project where they were asked “what do we know about residential schools?” while viewing The Secret Path. Students then communicated their ideas and understanding surrounding Chanie’s story and residential schools through an art piece and a written reflection. Once completed, a display was created to share their learnings with the rest of the school.

Join your Regional Educator Advisor Committee

Our Educator Advisory Committees meet four times throughout the school year to help improve the Legacy Schools program and guide the work DWF is doing. To apply, please complete the form below:

Apply Here

June events are happening! Send us your ReconciliACTIONs

We are busy planning our Indigenous History Month (IHM) digital programming for June. This year we are highlighting regions in Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick, and centering the programming on the themes of reflection, honour, and commitment. The month will end with our National Celebration Special!

We would like to invite Legacy Schools to participate in this year’s programming and to celebrate your reconciliACTIONs. We love to share what our Legacy Schools are doing, so submit your reconciliACTION by March 15, 2022 for a chance to be featured!

Submit Yours Here

Share your ReconciliACTIONs on social media

We love seeing the change you’re making – and so does the DWF community! Share your photos and tag us on social media @downiewenjack and we’ll try our best to share with our networks.

February 2022 Newsletter

From applications opening up to the 2022 Youth Ambassador Program to exciting employment opportunities, here are just a few of the things we are working on at DWF!

Youth Ambassador Program: Coming this summer!

Youth Ambassador Program hosted virtual meetings in August 2021.We are happy to announce that the DWF Youth Ambassador Program will be taking place July and August of 2022. The program will engage and connect two groups of 50 Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth throughout Canada, aged 16-25, and is an opportunity to gain practical work experience, and develop leadership skills. While learning about Canada’s true history, youth will develop their understanding of what reconciliation means to them, how to apply it in their communities, and become leaders of positive change. Learn more about the program and how to apply below.

Apply to the 2022 Youth Ambassador Program

Legacy Schools: ReconciliACTIONs

Dot paintings created by students at Eastglen High School, inspired by Métis beadwork and dot painting.Art students from Eastglen High School in Edmonton, Alberta explored the tradition and history of Métis beadwork by examining the unique features found in traditional and contemporary Métis beaded art. The Floral Stories Project was created by two Edmonton Public School First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Cultural Consultants Rebecca Pickard, from Lac La Biche Metis Community, and Athena McKenzie, from Lac Ste Anne Métis Community. The project was then led by Kristen Miller, a member of Nacho Nyak Dun First Nation.They each created dot paintings — an emerging Métis artform based on the principles and aesthetic of beading. Their compositions were inspired by their own connection to the land through memory, exploring plants that they are familiar with or that had a personal narrative attached to them. Additionally, students were gifted with the teaching of Grandfather Rock before being given their rocks to paint on.

We’re hiring! Artist Ambassador Coordinator & Event Associate

We’re hiring! Join a passionate team working to move reconciliation forward throughout Canada. Please share widely with folks you know who may be interested!

Artist Ambassador Coordinator

The Artist Ambassador Coordinator will build relationships with Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, along with athletes, speakers, ambassadors, educators, and partners, and have a meaningful impact in schools throughout Canada. This role will work closely with Artist Ambassadors and act as a representative of DWF in public facing events and engagements.

Read More

Events Associate

We are also hiring an Events Associate! This person will get to plan and launch virtual, in-person, and hybrid events at DWF. The Events Associate will also be responsible for liaising with key internal and external stakeholders and speakers, producing and reviewing marketing and promotional collateral, and ensuring smooth run-of-show on an exciting and growing portfolio of events that move reconciliation forward at both a national and local level.

Read More