Grant Recipients

For a copy of the final reports, please contact the ATA Library.

2017/18 Diversity, Equity and Human Rights Grant Recipients

Project Name School Name and Contact Description

1. Dare To Dream

AE Cross School—Calgary Public Teachers Local No 38

Roxanne Simmons and Tammy Moore

 

We are designing a three-fold project to further the understanding, integration and engagement of Indigenous students into our school environment.
Part 1) Staff Awareness and Education;
Part 2) Indigenous Art Culture;
Part 3) Indigenous Cooking from basic materials.

GUEST SPEAKER: ELDER—PD day
PD—ATA Workshop: Understanding Histories, Culture and Worldviews of Alberta’s First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples
INDIGENOUS CLUB—Regular Indigenous Team Meetings with set activities to promote bonding, cultural awareness, and school connection, including cooking/sharing meals in the traditional feasting fashion, engaging in planning and preparing meals.
ARTS/ CULTURE—Indigenous design creation of a school mural, teaching Indigenous design elements and helping kids learn how to design in their cultural representative manner, culminating in a mural for the school for an ongoing effect on school pride and morale.
- Request soapstone carving artist, Robert Cahill, to work with students.
- Plan for a drumming circle and Story-tellers to share the ways of knowing with our students.

2. Diversity and Peace Conference 2018

Bob Edwards School—Calgary Public Teachers Local No 38

Lumbesi Amanwi

14th Annual Diversity and Peace Conference

Since 2005, Bob Edwards hosts an annual Diversity and Peace Conference under the leadership of Mme Mona Lutfy. As she retires this June, Bob Edwards will continue to commemorate the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 20) by keeping the torch burning through the Diversity and Peace Conference. Mindful of the fact that Bob Edwards School is a multicultural diverse community, issues of racism, bullying and discrimination will be addressed at the conference. Peace will be promoted as not only the absence of conflict but also as a way of life.

3.Indigenous Education. Growth and Development.

Chinook Park School—Calgary Public Teachers Local No 38

Mrs Adriane Pettit

 

Currently, through school based PLC’s and PD we are working with our Diversity and Learning Support Advisor, Mr. Robert Wells, to build capacity among our teachers and students as we commit to Reconciliation Through Education. It is our intent to bring and Indigenous elder to our school during the 2017/18 school year to provide teachers with safe, sensitive approaches to teaching young children about reconciliation.

The additional funds for resources, teacher training, expert (Elder) visits and continued professional development in our school will our school community will continue to foster empathy and courage in our Indigenous learners and our diverse school population.

Through the redevelopment of our Learning Commons we will create a space that illustrates and educations equity for our indigenous students while we education through reconciliation.

4. DEHR in Grasslands School District

Eastbrook Grasslands Local No 34—Grasslands Local No 34

Erin Norrish

 

Our local seeks funding for activities and speakers that we would like to bring to Grasslands to raise awareness of diversity, equity and human rights. This is a continuation of last year.

Potential ATA Workshops (Here Comes Everyone, PRISM, Promoting the Success of Immigrant Students)

Potential Speakers/Activities (Passages to Canada Speaker, In Exile for a While Simulations—Red Cross Canada)

5. Indigenous Education Toolkit

Ecole Westhaven School— Evergreen Local 11

Stephanie MacPhail

 

Our grant money would be used to purchase books and resources to create FNMI toolkits to support Indigenous education into our elementary schools and classrooms.

The toolkit will include story books with corresponding lesson materials and resources to address the components of Aboriginal education.
Lessons regarding Seven Grandfather Teachings
Anti-colonial lessons
Reconciliation addressed through storybooks
Medicine Wheel lessons

 

6. Page Catchment GSA Collaboration

Ellerslie Campus Local 37— Edmonton Public Teachers Local No 37

Colin Powles

 

We are working to build and develop a network of Gay-Straight Alliances in the J Percy Page Catchment of Schools, which will meet regularly to build resiliency, foster relationships and strengthen ties in the community.
Social Hang-Outs with food, games, and student-led discussions
Movie Nights with student appropriate LGBTQ themed films
Bowling or Laser Tag
Positive Promotion Design Bee (making signs, buttons, t-shirts, etc, that promote inclusive, safe and caring spaces)
GSA Dance

7. DEHR to Care Kids Art for a Cause 2018,

Fleetwood-Bawden Elementary—Lethbridge Public School Local No 41

Aaron Rosenke

 

As we have done for the past two years, our local DEHR committee is planning to organize and host another kids' art gala in support of a cause that has yet to be decided. This will be our third gala. As has been the case with our event in the past, we will not be choosing our cause until we meet in the fall.

Students of interested teachers will be supported through exploring issues related to our chosen area of focus. They will learn about the topic and then relate their knowledge to art projects. This art will be sold/auctioned off at our event in the spring and proceeds will be donated to our chosen cause.

 

8. Fostering Safer Queermunities and Communities for Students and Staff

Foothills Local No 16 Jamie Anderson

We will continue the Foothills GSA Network and begin new initiatives including a queer book club for youth, a multi-local teacher’s GSA, and an anti-racist book club for teachers.

We learned through student feedback that there is a greater need for community-building in our school division, particularly for queer youth. Additionally, there is a greater need for support for queer teachers and broader need for educators to begin to build learning communities around anti-racist and anti-oppressive pedagogy.

GSA Network Teacher GSA Queer Book Club Teacher Book Club

9. Come Together

Holy Redeemer Catholic School—Elk Island Catholic Teachers Local No 21

Joe Dumont

 

Music is universal. No Matter who we are, we are affected by its power. Come Together, will be a musical collaboration between Holy Redeemer school and the Robin Hood Association to compose, record and perform original music.

Throughout the school year, Holy Redeemer will be organizing disability awareness activities. This will include but not be limited to: accessibility audits, adapted sports, reflection questions, information on the P.A. announcements and activities for classrooms. From these events, our students will start to understand disability, acceptance and respect.

In order to celebrate the talents of Holy Redeemer students we will focus on their musical abilities and collaborate with the musicians of Robin Hood.

Robin Hood has a proud history of creating and recording music. Our students will learn from Robin Hood how to write and record original songs. Through these gatherings, our students can begin building meaningful relationships and begin to realize that our similarities are far greater than our differences.

Students will make video diaries on what they are learning and share them with the greater school community in order to broaden the learning.

10. Sunshine on the Neutral Hills

Hughenden Public School— Park Plains East Local No 31

Ms Susan Reynolds

Our school wishes to put together their own kit to go with our personalized Blanket Exercise. Now that all students in junior and senior high have participated in the exercise, we wish to continue each year with Gr 7 and then again in Gr 10 to reinforce various curricular outcomes.

Each year Grade 7’s in Outdoor Ed will get to do an FNMI-themed outdoor camp in the Neutral Hills. We will learn considerable knowledge and skills to do this culminating activity.

Our art teacher has taken some PD on FNMI artwork. We wish to purchase books for students to access to inspire further work. Looms & beadwork for cross-subject project. Lana Whiskeyjack from Saddlelake Treaty 6 has artwork design we would like to access.

11. Safe Contact Cohort

Landing Trail—Sturgeon Local No 27

Dani Tighe

Our Local DEHR committee teamed up with members from our division to start a Safe Contact Cohort where we educate one teacher from each school about sex and gender minorities. The Safe Contact would be one person in the school teachers could ask questions about SGM students.

The Safe Contact Planning Committee met and made a survey for cohort teachers to take, this helped guide our planning. We wanted to teach the Cohort more about sex and gender minorities in our cohort meetings we have started doing that. Our Cohort then has homework, and helps educate teachers at their school during staff meetings. We provided PRISM toolkits to our Cohorts.

12. LTCHS Diversity, Equity  and Human Rights Project

Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School— Red Deer City Local No 60

Alyson King

 

The QSA recognised that we could make a difference for ourselves by creating a forum to get our voices heard but we want to be more inclusive to make a bigger difference.
Button campaign that highlights the diversity and the need to be more kind and compassionate.
Bring in adults and experts from the community to present to students on social justice and inequity issues.
Research books that students could read and share their thoughts and ideas about.
Educational trifold that highlights great things in our school community and what we still need to work on.
Meet with school administration and leadership around creating action plans to increase kindness and compassion in us school.
Plan a contest that asks students to create art, write poetry or prose that highlights the need to be kind and compassionate towards others.

 

13. Empathy through Education

Namao School—Sturgeon Local No 27

Jessica Tenove

 

Our school is rural and faces many of the issues that would be expected because of this; some students’ opinions surrounding First Nations and immigration are quite troubling. I would like to bring in the blanket exercise as I have participated in one myself and the sharing circle at the end was very powerful. This should show our students the historical context and living history of indigenous populations in an empathetic way.

-5 homeroom classes in grades 7–9 complete a blanket exercise with elders and members from Treaty 6 area

-have a speaker or presentation (yet to be determined) to speak on immigration and the importance of it.

14. Indigenous Art and Literature in the Elementary Classroom

St Martin’s Catholic School— Elk Island Catholic Teachers’ Local No 21

Dan Coles

 

Summer 2017—Connect with indigenous educator, consultant, or similar that can provide PD in the area of indigenous art / literature. Begin detailed planning of PD Day for school staff in September 2017. Invite members of our community to join us.
September 15, 2017—At school-based PD Day: Have consultant provide full day PD in the area of indigenous art/literature and how that can be integrated into the classroom. Invite members of school council, town council, and other stakeholders to engage in the activity Begin discussion/planning on whole school art/literature project.
October-November 2017—Staff, students, and community members will work together to further refine the whole school project. Potential
projects: mural, mosaic, school blanket, school banner.

15. Meet an Elder

Unité Locale 24

Sonia Durand and Danielle Murray

 

Among the 4 school boards part of our local, 4 classes will be part of this project. It will be on a voluntary base from the teacher. The classes will go out to a First Nation to meet an elder. After their meeting, the students will make a video that will be shared in all the classes. Because we cover a very large territory, all the classes will be from a different perspective of the First Nation, therefore, it will be interesting to compare the similarities and differences within those communities.

We will have to match the classes with an Elder of the different communities. We will have to make a template for the video. During the meeting with the elder, the students will learn and question the elder.



2016/17 Diversity, Equity and Human Rights Grant Recipients

Project Name School Name and Contact Description

1. Bringing Our Nations Together

Mitford School

Sara Martin

Mitford School has created an option class for students interested in planning an Aboriginal Day. The celebration will be student led and focus on sharing and honouring Aboriginal culture. Our hope is that by giving students formal credit for participating, they will know we value their work and this event.

First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) students at our school can sometimes be considered as on the edges of our student population. There are unique struggles they face that the rest of our student population may not. Celebrating Aboriginal Day by making it a school wide event, inviting the community, and giving students credit for planning and participating in it, gives them a voice and allows them to share their unique heritage and show the diversity of Aboriginal cultures. They are proud to bring in elders and other members of their community to our event. They have the opportunity to show peers and teachers their skills and abilities, such as dancing, drumming and creative arts.

2. ReconciliACTION

ME LaZerte School

Shelley Kofluk

Leadership students, in collaboration with our Circle of Courage group, will host monthly events to learn about Indigenous cultures of Canada. Students will also collaborate to create a piece of art together.

Leadership and Circle of Courage students will examine the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Recommendations Calls to Action document to select five to ten specific items that our school can address together. These items will then lead students to plan monthly or bi-monthly themes that we can address schoolwide.

Our community needs to be part of the reconciliation process. It needs to be collaborative and creative. By using art and culture to engage students, we can acknowledge the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and ACT.

3. Initiative for Stakeholder Education (ISE)

Foothills Local No 16

Paulette Morck

Education, Inclusion, Truth and Reconciliation Work Education of students, staff, administration and Division Office staff on LGBTQ issues.

  • Creating a safe network of our local GSA's to work together to support one another.
  • Offering learning in our schools around the issues supporting Truth and Reconciliation resources that include diversity in curriculum through the inception of the DEHR committee, we have been working on supporting our entire school division staff through education and understanding of the need to support LGBTQ youth. We have worked with our board as they responded to the guidelines in creating their policies and we want to continue that work through education of all stakeholders.

This year we have started to collaborate on the efforts of all of our schools' GSA's and have found great strength in the work that we are all doing to support these young people. We want to continue to offer opportunities for these youth to connect and grow with others through our newly formed Foothills GSA Network (FGSA). At this time, we have three high schools and two junior highs involved in this network and we hope to allow that number to grow.

This year two of our schools have had the opportunity to participate in the Blanket Exercise and we would like to offer this opportunity to schools that would like to participate for their learning moving forward in TRC.

Our DEHR committee has been working on addressing the need for diversity in curricular resources available throughout the school division.

4. Northern Lights DEHR Awareness and Support

Northern Lights Local No 15

Lara Ripkens

New challenges related to diversity, equity, and human rights have increased in Local No 15. To address the struggles placed on teachers and students as a result of the demands of these issues, the Local No 15 DEHR Committee wants to ensure that teachers in the local know about, have access to, and know how to use the resources that exist for them and know that the DEHR Committee is there to support their needs.

During the past decade schools represented by ATA Local No 15 have been faced with increasing pressures related to increasing community ethnic diversity, increases in reported mental health concerns of students, escalating suicide rates, bullying, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, dramatic discrepancies in socio‑economic opportunities, white privilege, and FNMI educational gaps. This has put ever increasing pressure on teachers and staff who have reported having difficulty being able to support students in need or address concerns due to a lack of training, support and resources. As a result, it is challenging for teachers to be able to approach education on a level playing field and support student needs in the way they wish to. This issue has been identified through discussions with staff in the division, demand for more PD related to aforementioned concerns, inclusion of goals related to aforementioned concerns in the division's 3-year plan, and data from student surveys.

5. LGBTQA + Awareness/Mental Health

Bishop Carroll High School

Erin Boppre

This project aims to create awareness of the mental health issues members of the LGBTQA’ Communities face, since they have one of the highest suicide rates.

Mental Health is an issue for many people, but the students in our Spectrum Club want to focus on raising awareness and ending the stigma. We feel that the need to create a safe space in our school community for people is important.

6. Diversity Day at Olds High School

Olds High School

Bev Toews

Olds High School is a UNESCO Associated School; we integrate the ideals of UNESCO and themes of UNESCO Associated Schools into all areas of our school. As part of this mandate, we would like to organize a Diversity Day next year.

For the past 12 years, staff at Olds High School have been purposefully engaged in creating opportunities for our staff and students to meet people they would not normally have a chance to meet: people of different cultures and walks of life. This project has focused heavily on celebrating diversity in order to dispel discrimination of any type.

We have learned from our project that if you meet someone from a different culture or walk of life, prejudices one might have can be diminished and replaced with understanding and acceptance. Due to the importance of creating peace and because of our revolving student population, we believe that the message of acceptance needs to be reinforced continually and we are committed to this pursuit. Now is timely due to the rise in discrimination against Muslims and the LGBT community.

7. DEHR Book Box

Saint Joseph Catholic School

Nicole Ferguson

In order to support the implementation of our districts DEHR Committee, we would like to create a DEHR Book Box for use in the classroom. We would like to provide each of the eight elementary and middle schools in our local with a DEHR Book Box containing eight children’s books that will supplement the PRISM toolkit lessons and focus on issues related to diversity, equity, and human rights.

In recent years our district has noticed an increase in students and their families from diverse backgrounds and cultures. In conversation with teachers in our local, particularly elementary school teachers, we have noticed a need for additional resources with regards to handling questions of diversity, gender equity, and intercultural education. Many teachers feel as though they don’t know what to say, or how best to address issues brought up in our more diverse classrooms. The PRISM Toolkit is a wonderful resource that we are promoting in our schools; however, we believe that a DEHR Book Box will make this toolkit even more effective.

8. Raising Respect

Sir John A Macdonald School

Julie Higgins

We have been working on raising the respect level in our school through a Raising Respect Club, providing students with a positive space, educating students on the negative impact of bullying and on developing and maintaining positive mental health. This is being done through schoolwide initiatives such as mini-lessons, announcements, kindness campaigns, observing Mental Health Awareness Week, and Pink Shirt Day, to name but a few. We would like to move this work forward by bringing in guest speakers and having more widespread activities that would engage the students.

We need to address not only bullying, but cyber bullying as well and educate students on the longevity and far-reaching impact of their web footprint. A large number of offensive websites that mock and criticize both our staff and students has been brought to our attention. There are a number of students who have been targeted and, surprisingly, a number of our strong "leadership" students have also been involved in this. It is causing many students to feel unsafe and bullied both in school and outside of school.

9. DEHR in Grasslands School District

Eastbrook Elementary School

Erin Sykes

In collaboration with Grasslands Schools District, Grasslands Local No 34 seeks funding to raise awareness about our local DEHR Committee and assert that diversity, equity, and human rights are an educational priority. This project is intended to be ongoing.

Grasslands School District has a diverse student population and our aim is to provide strategies and education to help teachers develop safe and caring learning environments to better serve the needs of all students. During the drafting of Grasslands School District Bill 10 Policy, it became clear that some teachers were uncomfortable addressing issues related to diversity. We want all teachers to feel comfortable addressing concerns in relation to diversity, equity and human rights.

10. Intercultural Education

Holy Family School; Christ the King Academy and St. Joseph’s Collegiate

Jennifer Rorke

This is a joint application for the three Catholic Schools in Brooks, Alberta. Each of these schools has a diverse multi-cultural population. In order to celebrate diversity and encourage understanding and acceptance, we would like to initiate a multi-cultural education program, including a multi-cultural fair.

Because of the diverse population in Brooks, we felt that it would be useful to educate our students about the various cultures that make up our schools and community. When students understand more about each other’s cultures and backgrounds, we feel that it will foster a greater acceptance of one another and a willingness to engage in fuller, more satisfying relationships. We feel that this program will help facilitate conversations between students that will result in a more inclusive environment.

11. Growing Food for Poverty

Eastview Middle School

Michelle Dyck

Many of our students come to school hungry on a daily basis and something needs to be done about it. Often we rely on donations from businesses and community to help with these issues. Why not instead build our resources, through planting, harvesting and constructing our food supply right on our school grounds? This will be something that we can build and then plant every year in the spring. Through this process, we will be able to supply fresh peas, apples and other produce for our school.

Currently we have a breakfast program, but nothing for kids to eat at lunch. Our counsellors often have food in their offices for kids who are needing something to eat. If approved, we will be able to grow food and harveste it from our garden to add to this supply of food. This can be given, as needed, to those kids in need in our school. We will also build a weather station, composting bins and rain collection station in our garden. There will also be apple trees, raspberry bushes, and strawberry bushes. Through having a group of students who are interested in working together on this project, we will build a sense of ownership and community. We will also have some expert gardeners come in to speak with the kids about the soil PH and growing conditions. In addition, we will improve an area of our school that is currently unused (either in the bus compound) or around the bike rack area.

12. Célébrons la Journée internationale de la langue maternelle!

École francophone d'Airdrie

Céline Tassé

Pour une deuxième année consécutive, nous voudrions préparer et vivre une conférence Unesco pour tous les élèves des écoles associées de l'Unesco où les élèves de 9 à 18 ans peuvant bien s'exprimer en français. Cette conférence “L’expression de soi par les arts et la culture” servira de tremplin pour créer une exposition de leurs oeuvres d'art inspirées des droits des francophones, autochtones, humains et des enfants.

Dans notre école, nous avons un double mandat celui de rencontrer les objectifs du curriculum albertain d'une part et celui de développer une identité culturelle chez nos élèves d'autre part. Notre clientèle se veut majoritairement anglo dominante: vivant dans en milieu minoritaire, les parents de nos élèves préfèrent leur parler en anglais à leurs enfants pour faciliter la communication. Cela a un impact direct sur les élèves qui ne peuvent pratiquer le français presque uniquement à l'école pour la plupart. Cela ne nous facilite pas la tâche. Partant de ce défi, nous souhaitons, donc, faire vivre un projet unique aux élèves de la 5e et 6e année de notre école. Pour ce faire, nous souhaitons s'associer avec l'École de la Source de Calgary qui vit la même problématique. En amorce, les élèves de ces niveaux cibles pourront aller visiter le quartier Rouleauville Square de Calgary afin de réaliser l'histoire des francophones dans leur région. Ils feront un projet d'enquête en écrivant des questions sur le sujet, liront et rencontreront un historien qui pourra répondre à leurs interrogations. Ils pourront construire une ligne du temps sur ce thème et tenir un journal de bord. De plus, en prolongation, ils pourront aussi s'informer au sujet des autochtones placés en pensionnats de 1820 à 1996.

13. 2nd Annual DEHR to Care Art Gala

Fleetwood-Bawden Elementary School

Aaron Rosenke

After the great success of recently holding our first DEHR art gala this past week, we want to continue making a difference in planning next year’s fundraising event. We had foot traffic of over 600 individuals and raised over $5,000 which will be donated to Lethbridge Family Services to be used in assisting Syrian families with their transition.

We believe that the core principals of Diversity, Equity and Human Rights should be known, discussed and respected in our democratic society. In Southern Alberta, too often do we find strong conformist groups, be they religious or cultural in nature, holding a great deal of power over minorities that often find themselves ignored or rejected. We push to welcome change and opportunities to create dialogue in respect to these important issues as many of our students, educators and community members find themselves within these groups. Our 2016 DEHR to Care Art Gala provided an excellent opportunity to do this. As was the case with this year’s event, we will identify a specific area of adversity that truly needs exposure and open it up for discussion. This year’s theme of Syrian Immigration was both topical and quite debated. We will continue with freedom of choice for educators in the way that they create their artwork. This year, we had everything from individual student pieces to collaborative ones from over 100 students. We sold or auctioned paintings, sculptures, practical pieces, etc, each piece communicating the importance and understanding of their cause. We also received a great deal of support from our community and aim to work further to promote both our cause and local business.

14. Building Our Future

Glenbow Elementary School

Alison Hambleton

Elder-in-Residence at Glenbow School

We are hoping to invite Stoney Nakoda Elder Virgil Stephens to spend several months sharing his wisdom and knowledge with our school population. While Mr Stephens hopes to share his knowledge of family traditions, storytelling, traditional/medicinal plants, etc, one of the main areas of focus will be on tipi building.

Glenbow School has been operating a successful Roots and Wings program (Aboriginal programming for our Aboriginal students) for several years. We have had a strong interest from fellow teachers and students to expand our program and provide greater access to our programming. Our goal is to provide more inclusive teaching whereby Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children work together to learn about First Nations, Métis and Inuit culture. Our goal is to provide authentic and meaningful experiences about First Nations culture in a manner that is inclusive and equitable.

15. Maskwacis Cultural Explorations

Norwood Elementary School

Frank Heinrichs

Provide students with opportunities to engage in Plains Cree cultural activities that include: dance, drumming, art, history and food.

The communities of Wetaskiwin and Maskwacis are closely linked in many ways and have close ties with each other. However, that does not mean that we cannot continue to work at strengthening this relation between communities and people. Our school community and especially our students would benefit from a deeper understanding of each other’s ways and culture. As such, we want to offer an opportunity for our Cree students to celebrate their culture and for us to gain a deeper understanding of Plains Cree culture.

16. Junior Drum Group

Bassano School

Shannon Laprise

Bassano School is a K–12 school which borders the Siksika First Nation. The school has purchased a Pow-Wow drum and would like to start a Junior Drum Group. To facilitate this, we will need to hire a Siksika drumming instructor.

Bassano School works very hard to ensure that all students feel welcome and “at home” at their school. We have enjoyed a 48-year relationship with the Siksika First Nation and have a full-time Cultural Liaison on staff. Of our 323 students, 73 are from Siksika Nation. We have decided to start a Junior Drum Group to ensure our First Nation students feel included and represented. By starting this group, we hope to foster pride in the Siksika students and to teach the non-native students about the Siksika culture. We feel that this Junior Drum Group will bridge the gap between native and non-native students and foster understanding and respect.

17. Celebrating Differences

Ecole Dickinsfield

 

 

This project will help our staff, students and families recognize and celebrate the diversity we have in our school, including cultures, faiths, abilities, gender identification and all possible types of families.

A year ago, our pre–K to Grade 6 school staff had a conversation re the need for LGBTQ students to be in a safe and caring environment, but the staff and school community are still uncertain and uncomfortable. This is evidenced by conversations the administration has fielded about Alberta legislation and our district LGBTQ policy, with some staff and parents having inaccurate or limited understanding. There is fear of parental reaction. If we adults are not comfortable, how can we help students feel safe and comfortable? By linking the concepts to our many cultures, faiths and disabilities, we will help work towards more acceptance.

18. Literacy Packs to Support Diversity

Sturgeon Heights School

Corey Conroy

Our DEHR Committee wishes to put together packages of literacy resources to put in each of our school libraries with age-appropriate literature that represents sexual and gender diverse people.

Sexual and gender diverse students in our schools are often hidden and do not see themselves represented in many activities. We wish to start breaking down these barriers by having them represented into fiction resources that are age appropriate and are incorporated in library circulation and classroom instruction. We also want to work with staff to build capacity for delivering instruction utilizing these resources.



2015/16 Diversity, Equity and Human Rights Grant Recipients


Project Name School Name and Contact Description

Hope, Compassion, and Respect: The Antidote to Intolerance

Alberta Distance Learning Centre–Edmonton Campus

Karen Campbell

Local 22 hopes to bring into conscious awareness the power of hate and intolerance. With awareness, perspectives may change and allow hope and acceptance of differences to flourish in its place. Bullying is never acceptable, but respect always is!

To “kick-off” or launch this project, Eva Olsson, Holocaust survivor, will give a presentation to our Northern most school followed by an evening presentation to the general public of Pembina Hills. During her stay, Eva will give five presentations to students in Local 22. Eva will also attend a local council meeting and speak directly with ATA school representatives. To maintain and expand the teachings/messages Eva promotes during her stay, Local 22 will:

  • make available for loan to Local 22 teachers, various resources (books and DVDs) relating to intolerance, directly relating to Eva’s story, and improving character development.
  • provide “learning moments” in the DEHR report/newsletter at each monthly local council meeting.
  • provide ideas for teacher classroom use relating to improving the understanding of and respect for “special days” such as mental health day, Black History Month, Aboriginal day, etc.

Grasslands PRISM Project

Uplands Elementary School, Grasslands Local #34

Shawna Turner

The Grasslands DEHR Committee seeks funding to purchase books that complement the PRISM toolkit for use in our school division. Each elementary school will be provided with the PRISM toolkit and several books with which teachers can broach the topic of sexual and gender minorities.

1. Upon grant approval, Shawna Turner will advertise the PRISM Project and collect names from at least one division-one teacher and one division-two teacher in each elementary school willing to use the PRISM toolkits with their classes. Each school will receive one PRISM toolkit and one set of ten books to share with each other and any other interested colleagues.

2. Participating teachers will share their experiences with the PRISM Project with their colleagues and administrators and encourage their administrators to purchase more books for student and teacher use through their school and professional libraries.

3. Participating teachers will act as their school resource for the PRISM project and will encourage their teaching colleagues to use the resources as it meets the Specific Learner Expectations in the provincial programs of study in Health, Language Arts, Fine Arts, and Social Studies subjects.

FNMI Inclusion Initiative

Cold Lake Outreach

ATA Local #15

Lara Ripkens

Cold Lake Outreach school wishes to better serve our students by purposely integrating FNMI culture into all parts of the school by developing a Native Arts program, making meaningful connections with the settlements and reserves we serve, and decorating our school in a manner that reflects our student population.

1. Teacher planning meeting to generate ideas, delegate tasks, and prioritize goals.

2. Informal student surveying to generate ideas about what aspects of student culture they would like to see addressed or what ideas they could bring forward.

3. Reviewing existent resources and programs for ideas when developing own programming.

4. Using Student Advocacy Counsellor as a mediator, set up meetings with settlement and reserve stakeholders to discover their priorities and interests.

5. Review current course modules to see where FNMI perspectives/activities could be substituted.

6. Generating a mural in the student room that is reflective of the student population culture.

"Helping Those Without a Voice"... and Supporting Those in Times of Need...

Maude Clifford School

Tri-Local (Local 26, Local 6, Local 42)

Andrew Boylan

We are providing strategies to help educators develop safe and caring, learning environments. We are addressing this with provision of sessions at our convention and local schools for teachers. We want our teachers to be able to answer the needs of any students and staff in their schools who are perceived as being different or standing outside the norm within our Alberta Educational Environment.

Issue 1:
We will be hosting our Third Annual Cultural Evening this coming May. Dijla Al-Rekabi from the Calgary Board of Education will be our featured speaker. For the past decade, Dijla has been speaking on Human Rights, Gender Inequality, Diversity, Refugees and Immigrants. Her experiences as a war survivor, refugee camp citizen and visible minority in Canada infuses a deeper understanding of cultural competencies, diversity and inclusion within the Alberta Education System.

Issue 2:
We organized sessions by Dr Kristopher Wells at our local teachers' convention. Dr Wells presented sessions on Homophobic Bullying in schools. With the increased popularity in schools for a Gay-Straight Alliances we would work with colleagues in the older grades and support their endeavours.

Consequently and following Bill 10, we hope to enlighten participants on how to successfully address bullying, discrimination, homophobia and transphobia.

In conclusion, this will include building trust and rapport with our students. This would be a stepping stone for other work being done by our Tri-Local DEHR Committee.

EMPOWER! Girls Leadership Program

Aahsaopi Elementary School

Kainai Nation Blood Reservation

Hali Heavyshield

EMPOWER! is an acronym for Empathy, Motivation, Power, Opportunity, Wisdom, Encourage, and Respect. The program will focus on grade 4 and 5 Kainai First Nations female students to learn leadership skills, as a means to improve overall wellness through literacy education and Blackfoot ways of knowing.

The group will meet on a weekly basis to focus on each theme of EMPOWER!

  • September: Empathy
  • October:Motivation
  • November:Power
  • December:Opportunity
  • January:Wisdom
  • February:Encourage
  • March:Respect

1. Literacy/Communication Activities: students will engage in various role playing exercises to teach them how to make informed decisions, while learning how to set goals, and foster positive and healthy relationships.

2. mTalent Show: Students will develop their strengths through performance, fine arts activities and traditional powwow dancing. Monthly Elder Visits: an elder will speak to the girls about Blackfoot language, values, and traditional ways of knowing based on monthly theme.

Implementing a QSA at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School

Alyson King

Lindsay Thurber has, in the past, been a pioneer in advocating for social and gender equity. The school will renew its support for LGBQT students by creating a Queer/Straight Alliance.

  • Inviting guest speakers (Kris Wells, Darren Lund, and Kelly Dean Schwartz) to come to speak on matters important to social justice, equity and developmental assets for all.
  • Provide funding for school activities celebrating diversity, equity and human rights-banners, anti-bullying campaign (pink day), colour day/race.

“Strut Your Stuff” Project

Delphine Brake

ATA Northland Local 69

Project “Strut your Stuff” aims to highlight the diversity of teachers, students, and families. Funding is sought by the DEHR Committee of Northland Local 69 to raise visibility and awareness that diversity, human rights, and social justice are educational priorities.

  • Purchase a number of books (picture, fiction and non-fiction) listed in PRISM Toolkit for Safe and Caring Discussions about Sexual and Gender Minorities.
  • Model at least three diversity lessons from the PRISM Toolkit Manual.
  • Encourage schools to celebrate and plan events to recognize special days throughout the year.
  • Host theme-based student poster and writing contests and compile winning first place entries into a booklet for distribution in the schools.
  • Pay for two speakers to present at the Northeast Teachers’ Convention in February 2016.
  • Buy a “Diversity, Equity and Human Rights” banner and have the inscription “ATA Northland Local 69 printed on it and display it at the Northeast Teachers’ Convention.
  • Create a display board about LGBTQ history to show at the Northeast Teachers’ Convention.
  • Be visible at the Northeast Teachers’ Convention with a booth/table with free information on various topics dealing with diversity etc.

DEHR Art Gala

Gilbert Paterson

Local 41

Veronique Joncas

Our project is to hold an annual DEHR Art Gala, where our students will lead in taking part into the process and running of the event.

  • Educate students on a cause: students will learn about their cause in class before creating an art piece.
  • Get students actively involved in supporting a cause: by creating a piece of art. All pieces of art registered will take part of silent auction. All profits will go to the cause.
  • Get students emotionally and intellectually involved by giving them the opportunity to create a piece of art inspired by a specific cause: painting, sculpture, collage, graphic art, etc.
  • Gather multiple causes in one event: Art Gala will display the art pieces and educate the public about the cause it is supporting.
  • Create links between schools and our community: open invitation to the public, personal invitations to targeted members of the community (business, politician, media, etc).

Safe Spaces Training

ATA Red Deer City Local No. 60

Patti Yackulic

This project is a continuation of the DEHR/RDPSD initiative begun in 2014/15. The intent was to work towards LGBTG policies, train district staff in Safe Spaces, and address other LGBTQ needs.

  • Dr Kris Wells will return to Red Deer to offer Safe Spaces training to 100 teachers.
  • The DEHR Committee will embark on an advertising campaign directed at teachers to increase the understanding as to the necessity of developing Safe Spaces.
  • The Local 60 DEHR Committee will offer teachers an ATA-related PD session.
  • The DEHR Committee also will tackle the creation of a resource guide directed at local LGBTQ friendly agencies, churches, etc.
  • Another step in this initiative is to work with the City of Red Deer through Lawrence Lee (City Councillor) in order to increase gender-neutral facilities (e.g., washrooms, change rooms, etc.).

Intercultural Education Project (IEP)

Evergreen Catholic Outreach

Evergreen Catholic Local 44

Meg Wiens and Chantal Rufiange

The goal of our Intercultural Education Project (IEP) is to address the need of a population of students in a local elementary school that have recently immigrated to Canada. This group can benefit from the mentorship of our youth through monthly visits where a variety of activities will foster understanding and learning about our diverse backgrounds while allowing the students an avenue to reach their full potential.

  • Pre-and-post self-assessments for students, discussing their ideas regarding the importance of diversity and equity in our community, and how they have grown from their experience.
  • An environment of intercultural education will be created by our high school youth for the benefit of themselves, and the recently immigrated children at our elementary school.
  • Taking students for 10 scheduled visits to our local elementary school to play games, prepare snacks, read culturally themed books, and make culturally-themed crafts while being in community with other children.

Creating Safe and Caring Schools With Inclusive Language

Westmount School Foothills

ATA Local 16

Jamie Anderson

This initiative aims to create safe and caring school environments for all students by working to eradicate the discriminatory language that is used in bullying - language that causes irreparable damage, particularly to youth that identify as LGBTQ.

  1. Staff workshops - We would like to offer the Calgary Sexual Health Centre workshops "Creating a Culture of Respect" and "Beyond Bullying" for Foothills School Division staff members to provide multiple strategies for creating inclusive environments and addressing language that is homophobic, sexist, racist, and discriminatory.
  2. Student workshops - Inviting the fYrefly in Schools program into Junior and Senior high schools to provide workshops for youth.
  3. Provide opportunities for youth involved in Gay-Straight Alliances to network with other students at the Gay-Straight Alliance Network meetings in Calgary. Students will not only have the opportunity to build relationships with other like-minded youth, but will also be able to learn how to further develop their own work as student groups.

“We are All Treaty People” Inquiry Project

Sir John Franklin

Local 38

Rudy Stein

“How are We All Treaty People?” will be the focus of Sir John Franklin’s school-wide inquiry for 2015–2016. This question will allow students and staff to explore the founding of modern Alberta from both aboriginal and settler perspectives.

The inquiry will begin with a theatre residency, and subsequent conference with 3 other schools. It will continue throughout the year as teachers design instructional tasks that explore multiple perspectives and the voices of Aboriginal peoples.

Part 1: Five–day theatre creation process.
The school will work with Trickster Theatre to create an original show that explores the question “How are we all Treaty people?” This will examine the founding of modern Alberta in as many ways as possible. This October 2015 performance will ignite a year-long inquiry process which will be explored by all students in a multi-disciplinary manner.

Part 2: “We are All Treaty People” – Youth Conference
Sir John Franklin will be part of a four-school theatre production conference involving three others schools. All students will have the opportunity to participate. They will create new work which will be shared. Students will drive the process and act in the new work.

Part 3: Whole-school inquiry
Throughout the year, teachers will consistently design instructional task which honour multiple perspectives and the voices of indigenous peoples. For example, visual art teachers will explore the work of FNMI artist while humanities teachers will examine the relationship between spoken word poetry and Aboriginal oral traditions. During the year teachers will also maintain an ongoing relationship with the three other schools involved in the conference.

Boys Council

Swan Hills School

ATA Local 22

Pauline Payne

This project will develop a Boys Council for those aged 14–17 to provide an opportunity to challenge traditional roles, expectations and stereotypes of what it means to be a man. Focus will be on language, acceptance, and conflict resolution skills.

Boy Council members will participate in a series of presentations and discussions designed to advance their skills. They will also develop a school library of media files which will showcase their knowledge. These files will be presented to both staff and students and will be available to staff as a classroom resource meant to initiate discussion and support the Health

POS. MHCB staff and school councillors will provide follow up classroom support as necessary.

For Pink Shirt Day, the Boys Council will present their ideas on learned skills to students in Grades 4–6. This leadership role should positively impact the attitudes and ideas of the younger students; potentially encouraging the elementary boys to join the council when they are older.

After Spring Break, the focus will become largely about team building and we will conclude with an end of year celebration in Edmonton.

Bob Edwards School Twelfth Annual Diversity and Peace Conference

Bob Edwards School

Local 38

Marissa Massey

Based on results from the “Tell Them From Me” survey and discussions with teachers, this conference addresses the need for our students' to feel safe, included and welcomed in our school as well as learning how to be engaged global citizens.

  • Throughout the year students will participate in a variety of activities which promote our conference theme that the Diversity and Student for Change Council organize.
  • Pre-and-post conference speakers that continue to promote our theme.
  • Students will attend We Day and My World Conference and share what they learned with others.
  • Opening Assembly where students will share what they do to be inclusive and passionate global citizens.
  • Keynote speaker that will talk about their experiences around diversity and human rights.
  • Students will attend two breakout sessions where they will learn how they can make a difference and be inclusive that are hosted by members of the community.
  • Post Conference celebration where students will share what they learned.
  • End of the year celebration where students and staff can show what they have learned throughout the year

Diversity Fair

Steele Heights Junior High School

Joyce Chaykoski

The students and staff at Steele Heights School are committed to developing a school-side, cross-curricular project that explores and celebrates diversity. Involves our local community, and bring awareness to a specific cause.

As teachers, our goals will be to mentor student leaders from across the grade levels and classes. Teach them specific competencies they will need to be effective leaders, and then give students the time and support they need to move from project conception and initiation to execution and closure. At the end, we want students to out on an event that will include a variety of stakeholders (families, community members, representative from Edmonton Public Schools). In effect, students will develop an inclusive project, on them of diversity that reflects the perspectives and experiences of a pluralistic society.

Our goals come directly from the Ministerial Order on Student Learning. However, what lies at the heart of this project is the chance for all student to work together by teaching, mentoring, and supporting each other. Moreover, we want all students to recognize biases or stereotypes they have absorbed, treat everyone as an individual, respect each student for who he/she is, and become more informed about the history and culture of groups other than their own. In short, students will create an atmosphere in the classrooms, hallways, schoolyard, and community that embraces diversity.

Children Reimagineering and Educating the World

Monsignor Fee Otterson Elementary/Junior High School

Local 54

(Edmonton Catholic Schools)

Being an inclusive school means fostering diversity, acceptance and equity amongst ALL students by creating an environment based on "BELONGING". Students become positive agents of change in their quest to become engaged thinkers, ethical citizens with entrepreneurial spirit.

Activities strongly support the "Big Ideas" and instructional themes of each grade level.

Creation of the CREW: Multi-age groupings (inclusionary for all students wishing to participate)

Free the Children Campaigns (including We Day)

Celebrations:

  • Multi-age groupings to present topics organized by the CREW and supported by staff.
  • Supporting the multiple intelligences of the students by using innovative technology, to present information (iMovie, Thinglink, Glogster, Museum Box),
  • Guest speakers to facilitate discussion and awareness surrounding the fair treatment of all.

Davs of Diversity

  • Global map focus in atrium to promote racial harmony (students to mark their heritage).
  • School-wide activities to support specific CREW objectives.
  • Multi-Cultural hot lunches to support the wonders of all cultures: organized by CREW and supported peers and teachers.
  • Student-led video on Otter TV (morning announcements).

Social Justice

  • Supporting Ester's Education in Burundi
  • Collaboratively building awareness and supporting an Aboriginal Community in Alberta.
  • Develop partnership with the YMCA Welcome Center.

Active Citizenship

  • Engaging students in human rights issues by being the voice for others by contacting (email, telephone, field trip, letters, rallies, community meetings) their councillors and MLAs

Students Helping Others (SHO) Project

St Theresa School

Northland Local 69

Delphine Brake and Mandi Maclennan

The SHO Initiative purposes to create a physical space in St. Theresa School that is inclusive and supportive of all students and staff. Funding is sought for the purchase of educational resources, publicity materials, training/workshop fees, and display/wall visuals resources.

Once the Principal has designated a room, the students will paint, decorate, and help furnish the room to give them ownership of the space. To effect educational and social change, the focus will be on school climate and organizational change that will result in long lasting results by engaging in the following activities:

  1. Use the five strategies of The Virtues Project as a framework for positive changes in students and school culture ;
  2. Plan, with the assistance of teacher facilitator(s),unique diversity, equality, and human rights events/activities throughout the school year to address issues and concerns based upon requests or results of surveys conducted throughout the year;
  3. Celebrate events/days that highlight diversity, equity, and human rights;
  4. Promote Talking Circles/Sharing Sessions;
  5. Participate in making talking sticks;
  6. Hold monthly SHO Leadership Group meetings;
  7. Report at school assemblies and in the media on monthly events/activities;
  8. Train students in leadership skills;
  9. Put up posters around the school and community promoting our SHO Initiative;
  10. Make displays related to bullying issues, for example, to educate others on this serious problem;
  11. Help organize leadership training sessions, educational workshops/presentations for others, such as, the teachers or parents.

A Multicultural Gathering – Our Living “Text”

Robert W Zahara Elementary School

Northern Spirit ATA Local #6

Janina Carlstad

We want to support and strengthen our Global Education environment by hosting a Multicultural Gathering aimed at creating awareness of other cultures, inspiring understanding and interaction, and offering inviting opportunities in which students may become even more globally involved.

a. We will poll our student population with regards to their countries of origin.

b. With those poll results, we will create a map display in our entryway that pinpoints our school’s cultural diversity.

c. We will host a Multicultural Gathering which will provide:

Opening Ceremonies with a First Nations Honor Song “on the Land” around a Tipi.

Community Building Art Project - Take a Hand in Shaping Our World With each student adding their painted handprint to this, we will create wall murals in canvas of our World and Canadian flag

Culture Crafts – Norwegian Rosemaling (folk art)

Food Fair at Lunch –

Closing Ceremonies – Highland Pipes and Highland Dance

Best Buddies

Westpark Middle School

Local 60

Tania Diletzoy

Our school has started a group called Best Buddies. The school is exceptional because we provide a variety of programs for students with intellectual, social and physical disabilities. Best Buddies are students who promote inclusion and foster friendship for people in our school.

Currently, Best Buddies students are working with the Pathways and Foundations students in the following ways: taking some students out for lunch time recess and playing with them, joining them in classroom activities during flex period. Some students have chosen to be a Best Buddy during their option class, where they join regular classroom activities to help students complete academic and classroom tasks. We would like to extend our involvement by proving several off and on campus activities. Currently, Best Buddies are planning a carnival-type activity with educational learning activities (colors, numbers, alphabet, shapes, money and counting) along with face painting, parachute games, food and prizes. We would use the grant money to pay for supplies as well as transportation and activity costs for the following possible offsite activities: purchasing Best Buddies t-shirts for staff and students participation in the activity, attending a Red Deer Rebels hockey game, going on a picnic at a local park, going bowling, going swimming, attending the Red Deer Museum and Art gallery, visiting the local fire and police station, attending a musical concert at the Red Deer College or local high school, completing an inclusive art project, visiting the local corn maze, completing a memory/photo book for all members of best buddies.