Library believes Indigenous education will lead to greater understanding

by Morinville News Staff

The Morinville Community Library will start 2018 by hosting a variety of educational experiences to support reconciliation efforts.

The Walk with Me exhibit, created by Reconciliation Solidarity Edmonton (RISE), will be on display in the library for the month of January.

The Indigenous Canada Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is also available through the University of Alberta and can be taken for university credit.

Additionally, a learning circle emerging from the U of A Faculty of Native Studies MOOC, and lead by local Morinville educators, will begin Jan. 4 at the library and run every Thursday evening for 12 weeks from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Program coordinator Stacey Buga said the group would work through the course content together with time for discussion and reflection. 

A Blanket Exercise will be held Feb 4 and will be available for the public to attend. The blanket exercise is an interactive ceremony that traces Indigenous history in Canada in an emotional and impactful way. Buga says the ceremony is a powerful one-day event that creates empathy through an interactive experience that breaks down the misconceptions of Canadian history.

“There have been positive additions to the Alberta school curriculum for students to begin learning about the past,” Buga said. “Adults, on the other hand, are responsible for their own education, and there’s few better places to learn than the library. 

Buga has been working with Alberta Municipal Affairs and Northern Lights Library System to find the best ways to engage Indigenous and non-Indigenous population to open a conversation about reconciliation.

“We want to make it comfortable and easy for our community to take a step onto a path of understanding together,” Buga said. “Libraries are a safe place for everyone to gain knowledge. Sometimes the difficult topics are more fully understood when discussed together with a group. My hope is that these programs will begin to let us understand our neighbours and appreciate our indigenous community.”

 For more information on the programs or to register, contact the Morinville Community Library at the front desk, call 780-939-3292 or email info@morinvillelibrary.ca.

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