It has been a strange school year for all of us. I hope you got the school results you hoped for and worked for. If you didn't, keep working at it. Nobody said it was going to be easy. Things will get better and close to normalcy with hard work.
For now, I hope you put it all behind. I hope you have a great summer 2020. Enjoy small moments with friends and family. Keep your personal goals in mind. Reflect upon your past and set goals for your future. Reach out for people that can help you make it happen.
Some of you will be back, some of you will move on. I hope you always keep coming back to say hi at W.J.H.M.S. You have a whole school staff and community behind you. You also have a life to live and things to learn away from Waswanipi. You can always come back home.
Finish what you start.
Always keep in mind, where you come from. Your language, your culture, your community and family is unique. Be proud and keep coming back to share your learnings.
Just like that duck who flies away every time I step on the dock, it keeps coming back!
Have a great summer 2020!
I hope you are doing well and have gave your best to complete the online assignments.
Here is a light post despite all these heavy issues going on in the world. Hope you enjoy..
The duck we've been watching for weeks who made our dock, its home.
The big beaver roaming around our place.
Rabbit liking our place..
It went right under my legs!
Sounds of nature...listen to the Goose sounds!
Every day is a new day and we have to be grateful for that.
Sometimes life has a way to make your day ..
Sometimes you've got to believe it will happen..
There it goes again for a spin around the lake.. that duck makes my day everyday these days..
What should we do with that duck that made our dock a home?
The duck always comes back under the dock.
Let me know if this message ever reaches you. Keep well and moving!
I hope you are well and healthy for the last push of the school year.
This time in history, while you work hard at getting to the next level in your school year is different from all previous years. Well, in terms of having topics and inspirations to write about in Cree, English, or French, you do have a lot of topics to write about during this COVID-19 pandemic.
I am sure you will find the inspiration to complete and finish your school year the way you hoped for. You still got time and you got this.
Your perspective and experiences on racism are different from mine. As a white male in this society, I will never truly understand what it is to be in minority and judged by the color of your skin. Racism comes in many shades of subtle cruelty. Coming from a French mostly white community with similar religious beliefs. Multiculturalism was not very present as I grew up in our little piece of land in the province between Montréal and Québec cities.
I want to do my part in any way I can in this fight for change. Education of natives and black history needs to be in the middle of that change. Part of the curriculum, the truth, rights gained over the years and the treaties not respected, the land ownerships baffled human rights in all ways possible. That needs to be known and learnt from books while growing up.
You are First Nation teenager coming from a Cree environment and your point of view matters very much in this global reflection on racism. Ask questions to your grand-parents and community elders and write down notes, record them. Figure out who you are in the big picture.
Don't be afraid to express yourself on this very important racism issue. The whole world needs to reflect upon this inter-cultural, inter-racial relationship in this global moment in history.
I believe we are together on the GEORGE FLOYD's murder and that these events have got to stop in our society. This oppression over the years, it is the Black and the First Nations people that are suffering the most from this discrimination and profiling. Even if neither of us is Black, we have solidarity towards the Black community and #Blacklivesmatters
Our perspectives are different but I believe that the worst thing that can be said, is to say nothing. Be part of the movement and solution.
This systemic racism has been happening for way too long and it has to stop. It is important for people such as myself to educate myself, by reading books, listening and learning about the barriers, hurdles and oppression minorities have faced over all these generations.
The truth needs to be included into the history curriculum about abuse and broken land treaties. Human rights wrongs over the years and how it needs to evolve to equality for all.
You know about being a minority probably more than I do. The only minority I have been part of is language and culture wise but nothing like my skin colour. When you go out from the reserve to the city with your parents and interact with non-native people, do you feel equal and respected? It probably happens here and there that you have the feeling of being judged from your skin colour.
That is not right and it needs to stop.
You know more about residential school history than most people where racism was the heart of the problem. This history needs to be written and included into the history books and facts to better understand racism and all shades of it.
You probably have felt racism over your young life already as it is an ongoing virus that needs to be addressed and cured as well as the COVID-19. Over centuries, racism has come in many forms and in various degrees of cruelty. As a society, as inter-connected communities of people, it is our duty to speak up and end this racism.
For hundreds of years, this profiling based on race has been going on by people such as white elitist men like General George Armstrong Custer during the civil war against First Nation people. Just like Adolf Hitler did in the Holocaust with Jewish people. They were killing them one by one.
It is difficult for me to wrap my head around the idea that in 2020, there are still people like Derek Chauvin and his colleagues that can do what they did to George Floyd. Surrounding the brutal murder and the protests that followed, I felt I had to express my feelings in writing instead of doing nothing. It was frustrating to watch this video that appeared on social medias and almost looked in slow motion. Police brutality in broad daylight with no remorses of whatsoever. And all this, in the name of law and order!
Racism, started long ago but HOW CAN IT END?
Being a white boy from a small town, I never really understood what racism was and what it meant.
Most people were not that different, in colour, culture, and languages than my family and friends were. As a family, we did not travel that far away. Over the years, there were some with different religious beliefs than most of us but very little. It seemed to me like we were all the same.
The only thing I noticed different coming to my high school years, as I came from the workers' side of the river to the private high school is the big gap between rich and poor. Some had it all, some had it hard.
It does not really fall under racism but under differences of social classes.
Around CEGEP years, I got to know friends that came from other regions than mine and they were my new teammates. Again, a little more interactions with different people but felt no racism that was based on skin colour.
For me, it was moving to Montréal at McGill University that was a huge growing experience. I was first faced with multiculturalism, cosmopolitain city and my first apartment.
It was my first experiences where favouritism and racism perhaps could have been noticed from my lense. A French or English coach or coordinator may mean different treatment or playing time but I chose to not get into these discussions. It was not so much about racism but there were French and English clicks within the Football and Hockey teams.
My new teammates were black, yellow, brown and speaking different languages and believing in different religions but we were all REDMEN and teammates. Even if all my memories are good and nothing to me was about racism, the name had to go.
Since graduating in 1992 at McGill University, the logo and the name has been an issue that had to be resolved and reconciled. It was a hard pill to swallow, I admit. I didn't understand why it had to change.
Afterwards, I realized that if it made more people feel good than just my own sorrow, it is for a much bigger issue. It is about about slavery, racism, baffled rights and inequalities that have been going on too long.
It was the reading of the Inconvenient Indian, a curious account of native people in North America by Thomas King that was a game changer for me.
We were going to school in different fields and we had the same passion for the same sports. We helped each other in crucial times of our lives and we did not care about the skin colour, the different shades of it, the cultural or religious background. We all cared about winning as many games together as we could during the best times of our lives.
Since 2002, I have been teaching Cree kids and teenagers in a First Nation community and my goal is still the same. Work towards the development of the global student; physically, psychologically, and emotionally. In the hope that they live a healthy and happy life as they move forward into Post-Secondary Education.
It does hurt me when I hear stories from my students after the weekend and they tell me that, at the last hockey tournament, there was some racists in the stands and they were being vocal against young kids and teenagers playing a sport they love. I think it is terrible and I wish those people could be shut and judged under a fair justice system.
It hurts hearing stories of residential school and the bad experiences lived by my friends' parents or my students' grandparents. These stories need to be told and taught in our school system so we all understand various shades of racism.
I have a lot to learn about racism against First Nation people and Black community in my own country and elsewhere around the world. Education is a key part of the process.
As a white man, I have never felt discriminated against on the basis of my skin colour. I have noticed the attitude towards language differences, or religious beliefs but in general, I can say that I know really nothing about racism or how it feels to be a target.
We teach our kids that we are all humans and we all have feelings no matter what and we are one. We treat each other with respect, just the way we want to be treated by others.
If you ever feel like someone is discriminating against you in any shape or form, I would like you to think of these 3 role models and wonder how they would react facing the same situation.
These people changed the world in their own ways. They took racism and discrimination head-on.
They believed in their convictions and rights. They were vocal about it. Look them up! We need more of them moving forward.
Just to name a few. And others like Tommie Smith or Colin Kaepernick protested peaceful but marked the world in their own ways.
I hope you are well, keeping fit and finishing your assignments on time.
Good luck and keep working hard!
During your research about stories on racism please look up this one dating from 1968
The image above is a place on the lake my daughter says she will jump off one day. We talk about it every time we ride by that rock.
I hope you are shooting, fishing and keeping well.
It's all about mindset being positive or negative. As a team and as a group, we have to deal with the whole mix of emotions. Your classmates or your teammates may need your support in times like this.
Be a leader and lead by example.
Over the years, I have had many great coaches. At University, there was legendary Charlie Baillie and and at Hockey, it was Jean Pronovost. The quality of assistant coaches at the time and the teammates I had that became coaches is amazing. I feel grateful.
The podcast below is one of our assistant-coach at University back in the days.
Check him out Coach Gord!
Master your emotions and keep moving.
Take care of yourself, mentally, physically and psychologically.
I hope you are keeping well and healthy in this heated moment.
This post is my thoughts of the past few days. The problem with online and distance learning from my opinion is not the medium or the content but, it is more about the expectations from you students.
Nothing is mandatory and everything is optional.
Over the years, I've noticed that there is a big difference in students' engagement when physical education is mandatory or not. When Physical Education is chosen as an option instead of imposed onto the student's timetable, it has a tremendous positive effect on the students' engagement.
When PE is chosen as an option of something students really want to do, they know what they signed up for and they come to class with the proper mindset. Students generally know what is expected of them daily.
Students that do not want to or wish not to do Physical Education the way it is offered on a regular basis, it would be nice that they were asked. Some students prefer having the choice to do more academic or arts as they wish. It has a positive effect on the entire school operations and chemistry. My humble opinion.
When students come to class knowing what they will do today and they come with the proper mindset, it takes away all the discipline and wasted time away from everyone. The students are in action quicker and for a longer time during the period. Everyone wins!
The problem with online learning platforms and initiatives is that everything is optional at the moment. Nothing is mandatory and expected to affect the students' grades for term 3.
As a teenager, it is hard to read THIS IS NOT MANDATORY and continue reading. It does not come naturally to all students to want to be curious and engage in the proposed challenge. Why do it if it is not necessary and mandatory?
My daughter was struggling with this same idea at first during the COVID-19 crisis. Everything changed when her teachers started to say that it was expected of them to log onto Google Classroom and complete the work of the day or the weekly assignments. She started applying herself a lot more to her secondary 1 online learning to make sure she moves up to the next level next year.
What do you think? Should PE be mandatory or optional?
Keep well and moving!
I hope all is good with your mental and physical health.
Keep in mind that your brain and mental health need to be on your training plan just the way you train your muscles and cardiovascular. Do not forget to include things that make you feel good.
Hope your are well and healthy.
Today, my daughter went back to school in grade 4, here in St-Mathieu-du-Parc. She was born in 2009, the year we came back to Waswanipi. That year the graduating class 2020 were in grade 1, 2 or 3. My teaching task at the time 2009-2010, was Grade 1-6 at Rainbow Elementary School. It's been already 11 years that I have been their physical education teacher.
Like the last few cohorts of students, they are special to my eyes since I have known them for so long. I have seen them succeed, struggle and progress for so many years. I appreciated this stability and working on the relationships over the years with this graduating class. I feel a bit sad not to be able to end our school year together doing the things we love about being in school.
At this moment in the crisis, Montreal is the Epi-center and on the Cree territories have been controlling the Corona Virus very well with only 10 cases thus far. We all hope it stays that way, let's keep being aware.
The American Hockey League has cancelled the remaining of the season. The CFL is very unsure, the USports is considering options. The NBA, NHL, the Soccer and Baseball professional leagues are all considering playing with no fans and complete their seasons. All elementary schools in Quebec re-started today outside of Montréal but without physical education classes.
I think about these things during this COVID crisis and uncertainty times like we all do.
The construction sites are starting up again, new procedures in Public Transport are changing around the world and everyone is adapting to this new way of life during this COVID-19. At least Golf, Tennis and individual outdoor sports are starting up again with no fans.
It is not cool that my students from Waswanipi, who have worked so hard to get to graduation cannot enjoy their Graduation ceremony together with their classmates and family. Not cool to not being able to enjoy those last few PE classes together doing sports and activities they love ❤️. I wonder what physical education classes will look like in August 2020.
I looked back at the Blog started in 2010 when my Secondary 5 students were only in grade 1.
Clicking on any image will take you to the old blog that has not been updated since 2013. There are a few links not working anymore.
It was fun to look back and think about the journey these Secondary 5 graduates have gone through over the years. It made me smile and proud of them. Thanks for all these good years, I will hang on to those until we can do what we did together again!
Hang in there, focus on your goals and remain active.
Dear secondary 5 students,
Hope you are hanging in there and keeping active.
Before it all hit us that COVID-19 virus, here is how we spent our time together. During the ongoing school year, you can tell yourself that you had already 69 periods of 50 minutes of physical education which is more than the average in Québec.
The secondary 5 students started the third term with a 92% attendance average and the school average was 68%.
The secondary 5 students had 69 periods (3293 minutes) up until the COVID-19 crisis. The average secondary student in Québec has approximately 50 periods of 50 minutes during the entire school year.
The Secondary 5 students were true leaders in reliability and exemplary effort, engagement and group chemistry. They will be missed.
Stay focused with your academic periods and get ready for the next phase of your life.
Stay well and keep being more active than the average.
I hope you are well and healthy.
In these times of confinement, it is even harder to take care of ourselves or at least it seems as such even if we have so much times on our hands. You are not expected to show up at school to your classes or at your 4 physical education classes per cycle of 6 days. You are not expected to show up to your practices or games if you are registered into a recreation sport. In fact, we are asked to stay home and not see anyone!
There is no schedule other than your online learning expectations that you can do whenever it fits your schedule. You have so much freedom, it is important to create yourself a schedule to do certain things you really care about. I thought the graphic from #Believephq on Twitter helps in finding ways to take care of yourself and make a plan for what is important to you.
Keep well and take care,
Here's another great graphic from Twitter @BelievePerform on how to build your resilience in these confinement days. It is such a beautiful word to get to know. Hope you agree.