École Notre-Dame-du-Sault students to discover the richness of the Métis & First Nations cultures

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From Monday, May 30 to Friday, June 3, students from Sault Ste. Marie’s École Notre-Dame-du-Sault will interact with a Native leader in a learning activity that will enable both students and teaching staff to benefit by discovering the bounty of Métis and First Cultures. During the week, they participate in the building of a birchbark canoe.

Kindergarten to grade 8 students at École Notre-Dame-du-Sault (600 North Street, Sault Ste. Marie) will meet Métis voyageur Christian Pilon, in the school library, where this former Azilda resident will construct a six-foot birch bark canoe. He will initiate ten grade 5 to 7 students to the rudiments of canoe-building. On Friday, June 3, at 1:40 p.m., students and staff will gather in the school gymnasium to celebrate the launch of the canoe that Mr. Pilon will have built during his visit at École Notre-Dame-du-Sault.

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A participant in the Destination Nor’Ouest televised series, Christian Pilon embodies the joie de vivre of his French-Canadian ancestors, the love of nature and birch bark canoes of his Algonquin-Anishinaabe forefathers, the pleasure of sharing enjoyed by the Huron Wendat peoples and the power of his Iroquois-Haudenosaunee ancestors. An impassioned role model, Christian uses the art of building birchbark canoes as a tool for teaching in schools and for promoting the diversity of his Franco-Ontarian identity.

This learning activity is offered by the Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario (CSCNO) schools as part of its Aboriginal culture awareness program.

The CSCNO, whose Aboriginal Education program is among the most proactive in Ontario, is pleased to provide this opportunity to support Native students (First Nation, Métis and Inuit) and assist them in reaching their full potential. The Board’s program includes initiatives that support awareness, learning and academic success, and seeks to instill pride and a sense of belonging to Aboriginal cultures.

The Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario offers a French Catholic Educational Program that is widely recognized for its excellence. The CSCNO provides a quality academic program that runs from early childhood to adult education, with some 7,000 students in 27 elementary and 10 secondary schools.

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