Sault Ste. Marie: Students and staff of the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (HSCDSB) celebrated Catholic Education Week with a variety of events over the past five days.
One of the defining events of the week was the annual Walk for Justice. The focus for the 9th edition of the walk was water. Students in all schools learned about the importance of water to all life and that there are many people around the world who struggle to access clean water each day.
Lessons on how everyone should be a steward of water quality were taught in the weeks and days leading up to the walk. At Holy Family Catholic School in Sault Ste. Marie, students in the Grade 7 class put together a presentation to the school body just prior to their walk.
“Clean water is important and we should be able to have it all the time. Sister Pat taught us that some countries like China are running out of clean water so it’s important that we can use water more carefully so that we don’t run out. We should use water because we need it, not just because it’s there,” said Joseph Tremblay.
“I realize that water is very important to use and we need to use it wisely so that we don’t run out. In the video we showed the school, when the clean tap water turned dirty, it made me feel bad for those countries that don’t have clean water,” said Rebecca Swenson.
At St. Mary’s College the focus of the school’s Walk for Justice was reconciliation. Students learned about the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which stemmed from abuses documented at Residential Schools across the country.
“I would like to see the walk for reconciliation continue and have more visible signs of our culture and more elders walking with us. It would make it more meaningful. It is important so that our story is not forgotten.” said Quentin Jones, a Grade 10 student.
“It was a good reminder of the history of residential schools and the effects it had and continues to have. We need to make sure that we are treating everyone equally so the same mistakes are not repeated,” said Grade 9 student, Sarah Gibbs.
“The walk was worthwhile because it raised awareness about Native American discrimination,” said Grade 10 student, Cole Pine.
“I joined the walk with the students and staff of St. Mary’s College and was very impressed with their enthusiasm. This very important gesture acknowledges the need for understanding the depth of hurt caused in the past to our indigenous,” said HSCDSB Director of Education, Rose Burton Spohn.
“Our Walk for Justice, and Catholic Education Week itself, is a visible opportunity for our school communities to show the public some of what we are teaching our students and how the lessons they learn build the Catholic leaders of tomorrow,” added Burton Spohn. All activities during Catholic Education Week centered on the theme ‘Renewing the Promise’, which is the theme for the 2017-18 school year.