FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(100 MILE HOUSE) Educators will get a fresh perspective on how to teach students about B.C.’s rich and diverse history at the Pathways to Gold symposium. Designed to provide new teaching strategies and resources, the symposium is ideal for school teachers, particularly those teaching grades 4 and 5, as well as Social Studies 10 and 11.
“This symposium focuses on giving teachers the materials they need to bring B.C. history alive both in the classroom and outside the school setting,” said Paula Waatainen, Vice-president of the B.C. Social Studies Teachers Association.
Hosted by the New Pathways To Gold Society’s Education Caucus and the District of 100 Mile House with support from the B.C. Social Studies Teachers Association and the Aboriginal Tourism Association of B.C., the symposium takes place May 2-3 in 100 Mile House. It features keynote speaker Dr. Marshall (University of Victoria) and workshops by Chief Mike Retasket (Bonaparte Indian Band), Brenda Ireland (First Light Initiatives), educators Moira Ekdahl and Dale Gregory and others. Workshop topics include:
- Stories of B.C.’s unique history, especially little-told chapters like the Canyon War of 1858
- Teaching strategies to better tell history in the classroom
- Resources and field trips to support teaching of B.C. history outside the classroom setting
- First Nations perspectives on the role of Aboriginal people as co-founders of Modern British Columbia
- Plenary discussions on concrete next steps to get more resources to teachers
The Pathways to Gold symposium is also an opportunity for First Nations educators to bring their perspectives and approaches to a public forum, says Cheryl Chapman, Training and Education Coordinator for the Aboriginal Tourism Association of B.C.
“Aboriginal approaches to education and storytelling can help teachers reach their students in powerful ways,” said Chapman, who is also on the board of the NPTGS.
“First Nations teaching engages their hearts as well as their heads. Those are the kinds of lessons you don’t forget.”
The symposium is comprehensive and affordable, says Mayor Donna Barnett of 100 Mile House, whose community is hosting the conference.
“It’s also a great opportunity to come and see what 100 Mile House and the South Cariboo have to offer,” said Barnett, a member of the NPTGS board.
“We’re at the center of the most beautiful fresh water lakes with scenery second to none. We’ve got winter and summer recreation of all sorts and along our citizens are the friendliest, most hospitable people in the world.”
Waatainen, Chair of the NPTGS Education Caucus, said the symposium will also feature educational displays and materials from publishing houses, government departments and related organizations.
The symposium is the first education conference organized by the NPTGS, a community-based organization funded by BC150, the Northern Development Initiative Trust and other sponsors. NPTGS is dedicated to continued reconciliation with First Nations, investment in B.C. heritage and economic development.
BC150 is a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Crown Colony of British Columbia in 1858. Every community is invited to participate in this year-long celebration of B.C.’s cultural diversity, community strength and achievement. For more information on BC150 events and programs, please visit www.bc150.ca.