Western School Division (WSD) took advantage of having no kids in school on Tuesday and worked on professional development (PD) with their staff on Indigenous education issues.
Tuesday's provincial election meant schools across the province needed to be closed for an administration day or PD day.
WSD Superintendent Stephen Ross said they hosted Kyle Mason from Winnipeg to talk to staff about reconciliation, and the challenges ahead as they continue to work through existing issues.

Ross noted the day also gave colleagues and peers the chance to work together on opportunities that are ahead for them "to do better" going forward.

"It's going to be continuing to work together through these issues, trying to continue to have conversations that are productive as we move ahead. Trying to share understandings of realities that occurred," said Ross. "(And), helping people understand generational trauma and its effect on communities as a whole, and on everyone that's part of our society today." 

For some people, Ross said reconciling their understood knowledge of the past with the actual events that happened in residential schools is a challenge. He noted some of the information contained in history books didn’t reflect the true events that occurred during that time. 

Tuesday's PD day is another part of many steps going on in WSD. Ross said they've had many events over time to try and broaden people's understanding of some of the challenges that came with some of the history that occurred in this country. 

"We've done Treaty education, we've done blanket training exercises, we've done poverty simulations here with our staff..." 

Ross said Indigenous education is important for everybody and is important it's part of a student's journey through school.

"It's another population in our society that's part of every community that we live in. The Treaties affect everyone, right? We're all treaty people."

Ross said there's a lot of opportunity for us as a society to ensure that everyone can thrive. "And ensure everyone understands some of the traumatic past events that have occurred in this country, and just to do better." 

- With files from Robyn Wiebe - 


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