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Published by the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation

John Lake students play host to i2P team by highlighting Aboriginal history lesson

Posted: 06/21/17 9:00am CST
The fiddlers from St. Michael’s School were part of the presentation for visiting impossible2Possible ambassadors during their visit to Saskatoon. The group of international students also heard from Eugene Arcand (bottom left photo), a residential school survivor who briefly spoke about the traumatic experience.

Students at John Lake School in Saskatoon recently played host to a group of six young international ambassadors who are part of Ray Zahab’s impossible2Possible organization that is involved in an ambitious cross-Canada tour.

I2P is an international non-profit organization that provides adventure-based learning free to schools and students globally.

This was evidenced by the presence of students from such far-flung places as New Zealand and France who were part of the travelling entourage.

Zahab has gained an international reputation for not only his exploits as a long-distance runner and motivational speaker, but also for founding i2P in 2008.

The Saskatoon stop was part of a 13-day tour that made 13 different stops and included all the Canadian provinces and territories as part of Canada’s 150th birthday.

In speaking to those in the school gym, Zahab praised the organizers at John Lake. This was the only stop on the tour that included learning about First Nations and Métis people, and the path to reconciliation with several members of those communities in attendance.

“This has truly been a day of learning and truth, and it’s been a wonderful history lesson for our young ambassadors.

“It is our goal to share Canada with the rest of the world and this is a rich example of that. It’s a history we all need to be more aware of and know more about, so this has been a wonderful opportunity to get some first-hand insight,” he added.

The assembly highlighted the importance of establishing partnerships, including the example of Whitecap Dakota First Nation and Saskatoon Public Schools.

John Lake was a fitting setting since there is a considerable percentage of students from Whitecap that attend elementary school there, as was explained by Whitecap Dakota First Nation Chief Darcy Bear and Ray Morrison, chairperson of Saskatoon Public. Both spoke of the rewards that can be achieved by establishing such partnerships.

There was also a brief, emotional greeting from Eugene Arcand as one of the residential school survivors, who was later presented with one of the dolls created by the school’s students. There were also presents brought by the i2P ambassadors during the event.

Later in the day, Zahab and his six ambassadors, as well as students from the school, participated in a run from John Lake School to the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre on the University of Saskatchewan campus.

In addition, i2P alumnus Brandon Sand, who was raised at Mistawasis First Nation and can count running across Bolivia among his accom­plishments, took part in the school visit and the subsequent run that wove its way past The Founders statue of John Lake and Chief Whitecap.

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