Student Symposium 2022
This year’s Student Symposium centered on the theme of “anti-racism” and was facilitated by our 10 student trustees. On February 25 over 100 Grade 8-12 students attended the symposium either virtually or in person from across the school district. Attendees also included school trustees, school principals and district leadership.
The intention of the annual symposium is to engage student voices and give students agency across all functions of the school district. Student trustees led students through “Students Tending the Fire,” which is an anti-racism training toolbox developed by 12 SD8 students, and which continues to be shared with all staff, parents and students throughout our district.
At the March 8 Open Board of Education meeting, student trustees reported on the Student Symposium experience at their school and the positive impact it had on students who took part.
Board Trustee Dawn Lang from Kaslo shared her experience after joining the presentation at JV Humphries:
Thank you for your Students Tending the Fire presentation yesterday. To say I was moved would be an understatement. Your poise, your professional slide show and video, your compassion and understanding of the issues, and your thoughtful facilitation assured me that we are all in good hands with all of you taking on leadership roles. We are all becoming more comfortable hearing stories that make us pause, reflect and sometimes cry. The students in our school district are blessed to be part of a student body that supports diversity, embraces inclusion, and demands equity. Thank you for your passion.
The SD8 Anti-Racism Committee is in the process of developing an anti-racism policy for our district that will include public, student and staff input from a survey that formed part of a public engagement process held in January and February 2022.
Aboriginal Education - A Journey Through Art Toward Reconciliation
The LVR Art Studio class with Laurryn Asbell and Aboriginal Academic Success Teacher Jesse Halton, supported by VIDEA*, facilitated an inquiry project in which students delved into reconciliation through art.
Students focused on the concept of reciprocity in art and engaged with Elders, culture holders, and Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and doing to learn about Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. The final product will be a book that portrays their inquiry process and journey and several of the pieces created along the journey.
*VIDEA’s mission is to strengthen the environment where youth and communities, globally, have access to the education, information, skills and support necessary to take leadership in developing their own sustainable solutions to environment, Indigenous and human rights violations and injustice.