Day 7 – learning about big issues and reflecting on them

In the morning the Abalom group planned an excellent activity about ocean pollution. Teams had green bins full of different pollution/garbage that you would find in the ocean, and they had to try to clean it out. It wasn’t easy as some things were very difficult to remove but it taught some very important lessons.

Next was gender inequality football (soccer) planned by the Mosquitoast. This activity emphases how different genders are treated differently in society (as well as paid very differently as well). It was shocking for participants to learn about how the different pay scales for sports players or those who work in the film industry.

After lunch the staff planned a version of the blanket exercise. This activity was designed to emphasize the historical and current situation for Indigenous people in Canada. Participants learned how the land belonging to First Nations got less and less over time, and how policies implemented by the Canadian government were designed to assimilate Indigenous people and take away their culture. We learnt about how the introduction of guns and overhunting led to the drastic decline of the bison population, leading to starvation and difficult situations. We learnt about how diseases such as smallpox wiped out 93% of the indigenous population, and how many people have turned to substance abuse to cope with the trauma of residential schools. Children were taken away from their families, often forced to attend residential schools where they were not allowed to speak their language, practice their culture, or practice their spiritual beliefs. This was a sad activity that allowed everyone to reflect on how colonization has impacted Indigenous people in Canada, but also around the world.

For the evening activity we had some photo fun and walked over to the grain elevator to take a large group photo (and lots of other fun photos as well). All the photos can be found on our dropbox and your child’s leader can share the link with you 🙂