With Canada’s 150th birthday fast approaching, we look at what not only makes Canada special, but where we come from and why we are here.
Discovering one’s story, origin and identity are the main focus of Journey Middle School and its latest project, My Canada, My Story, where students from all grades look and see why they are Canadian, or if they have some ancestry with some unique background that they maybe didn’t know about.
Leading the project is Journey school principal Laurie Szadkowski, who is determined to create a broad and inclusive way ofcelebrating Canada and her roots.
“What does it mean and how did we get here?” she asked, adding the project fits in well with the school’s First Nations’ families as well.
“Canada is officially 150, but we have thousands of years of history with these lands prior to that, so it’s important to have it open to everyone.”
The project is broken up into three select areas: a written essay, a video, or a piece of artwork. Ideas would be, Canada in the future, could be about one’s family, or what it means. If someone is part of a new immigrant family, why did they come here, and why did they choose to live here and stay here.
Szadkowski noted that if a student wants to perform an interpretive dance, it would be accepted under the expression through art category.
“Open it up so kids can really show how they want to have it represented,” Szadkowski said.
After all the material is collected, which will in sometime early June, it will be displayed in a public setting, albeit details as to where that maybe are still coming together. Regardless, select classrooms with the best material will get to take part with the second phase of the project, a road trip to Port Renfrew and some of its local attractions, such as Botanical Beach, PacheedahtBeach and Avatar Grove, home to the world’s largest Douglas-fir tree.
Sponsoring the trip is the Sooke News Mirror and Royal Bank in Sooke with the idea to help the school provide an experience that truly helps celebrate Canada. The idea of coming up with a pizza party, though delicious, isn’t so Canadian, Szadkowsk ilaughed.
“How do we involve all our students and tap into not only their culture and heritage, but also into their ways of learning and expressing their knowledge,” she said. “We’re celebrating in our region, and in an area we don’t get to go very often.”