Sunday, May 20, 2012

Canada in the spring....

What a perfect time to work in our massive country. I flew to Saskatoon and drove to Duck Lake. In Duck Lake's spectacular new community school, I worked with parents, staff and students. We spoke about past and future...pain and dreams for a better tomorrow. For those who have not driven into town off the highway, the historical town features several spectacular murals reminding us of the rich
history of the Cree and Metis people. I then drove to Kamsack. I stayed at Madge Lake in the beautiful Saulteaux Lodge and I worked with the entire community out at Gabriel Cote Reserve. There is no question that my message was heard. There is a crack in the door. Aboriginal people stand to read and to succeed. My drive through Yorkton to Regina was highlighted by a hundred thousand bugs splattered all across my windshield. I had forgotten the bugs and I had completely forgotten the wind. If You're not from the Prairie, you don't know the wind. From Regina...Montreal - To be able to present "dans ma langue" was nothing less than a thrill. And my audience... A conference on literature!?! My listeners were clapping and smiling and down with my every word. THAT is the kind of work every conference presenter relishes. I arrived home from Montreal last night and leave for Toronto tomorrow for wo magical weeks in south western Ontario.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Diversity in Grande Prairie

Equity, diversity and human rights in Grande Prairie... I see exciting things happening around me...almost daily. Most are from our youth. Kids have never been as smart and able as is this generation. They are living the things I grew up writing essays about: environmental well being, human
rights, acceptance not mere tolerance. My daughter calls me on running more water than I should be. She would never dream of doing some of the things I did as a youth to our environment. That being said, adults are cashing in on some creative and innovative actions. Barack Obama is President of the U.S.A. The Berlin wall is no more. Alberta has elected a woman premier. In B.C., teachers came out opposing standardized test. Shortly thereafter, educational administrators joined them in their condemnations. This year, the B.C. Trustees have joined rank. This past week, I worked with staff in Grande Prairie in gearing up for a new programme that will focus on Equity, Diversity and Human Rights. Amazing initiatve. Amazing people. Another reason to celebrate education. I spoke right after this young lady who had no issue with capturing the attention and then the hearts of our audience. ...oh, I should mention that the good sport's name is Darren.