Raising Awareness Workshops

Ability, Difference and Inclusion

Grades 5-8 or 9-12: This workshop will explore the various models of disability and the ways in which language can embolden different ideas. Students are encouraged to reflect on the power of words, stereotyping and fear of difference. A brief history of discrimination towards people with disabilities is explained and the subsequent resistance and mobilizing is exposed as well.  In addition, experiences of people with disabilities will be highlighted through film clips that feature community members sharing their stories. By exploring difference through activities guided by empathy and open-mindedness, students are empowered to challenge ableism when they see it.

Colonialism and Canada Workshops

Grades 5-8: This workshop explores how the assimilative policy of residential schools has had an impact historically and still currently on Indigenous peoples in Canada.  Students will explore how residential schools were one piece of the broader puzzle of colonialism, and the critical importance of listening to the stories of survivors.  Students will also reflect on what kind of Canada they hope to see in the future, considering the Truth and Reconciliation's Calls to Action for all Canadians. 

Through a discussion of the original Indigenous inhabitants of the land and the impact of colonization on these communities, this workshop will draw significant connections with grades five and six Social Studies material focusing on Canadian history. Grades seven and eight students will be challenged in the workshop to consider the importance of listening to the stories of different communities, lending itself well to the respective Social Studies curriculums studying diverse societies in our world, both historically and today. 

Grades 9-12: This workshop allows for a critical introduction to colonialism, human rights, and the continued resistance by Indigenous peoples in Canada. Topics include The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, The Indian Act, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.  Common stereotypes and misunderstandings about Indigenous peoples in Canada will be investigated, and the workshop will conclude with a discussion about one's individual responsibility to decolonization. 

Through a critical look at the impact of colonization on Indigenous communities today and the attempts to challenge and change this, students in grades nine and ten will be able to draw connections to their Social Studies material surrounding diversity, democracy, natural resources, and social injustices in Canada. This workshop will perfectly complement the grade eleven history curriculum's discussions of colonization, as well as grade twelve classroom content surrounding human rights, social justice, wealth, power, and the environment. 

These workshops are developed with themes from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action in mind.

Breaking the Binary: Sex, Gender, and Identity Workshops

Grades 5-8: This workshop will explore the various spectrums that contribute to our identity formation (gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and biological sex), while discussing how socially constructed ideals can influence these identities. Students will draw the connection between LGBTTQ* rights and human rights through an exploration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Definitions of common LGBTTQ* terms will be discussed, as well as the ways in which discrimination exists and can be confronted by students. 

Grades 9-12: This workshop will explore the various spectrums that contribute to our identity formation (gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and biological sex), while discussing how socially constructed ideals can influence these identities. General definitions of common LGBTTQ* terms will be discussed as well as LGBTTQ* legal rights in the Canadian context.  In addition, focus will be given to the unique experiences of transgender individuals in North America. By exploring homophobia and transphobia, students will gain a better understanding of ways in which they can confront these forces. 

These workshops effectively enhance the Health Education curriculum surrounding human sexuality and relationships.  Exploring a positive self-concept surrounding one's gender and sexual identity will be emphasized, as well as the importance of respecting this process for one's peers.  In addition, these workshops draw connections with the Social Studies curriculum analysis of legal and human rights being extended to certain demographics.

Creating a Culture of Consent


Grades 10-12: This workshop explores what consent means and provides students with a clear and concise definition to work with. Students will learn what their rights are as agents under the Criminal Code, how these rights have changed, and how to use these protections to their advantage. Students will consider the social implications of this conversation about consent and be encouraged to reflect on how they might change their own actions.  Finally, they will gain an understanding of gender-based violence and the social structures that underpin today‚Äôs troublesome culture. Students finish the workshop by busting myths about consent and sexual assault in Canada.

This workshop draws connections with the Social Studies curriculum analysis of legal and human rights as pertaining to youth. In addition, this workshop effectively enhances the Health Education curriculum surrounding human sexuality and relationships. Understanding the meaning of consent will be emphasized, as well as how to respectfully seek it from others. 

Refugees, Migration and Diversity Workshop

Grades 7-12: In this workshop, students will have the opportunity to think critically about immigration and refugees in Canada. Students will understand the differences between refugees and immigrants as well as the nuances along the way to citizenship.  They will have the opportunity to reflect on how they personally fit into the history of immigration in Canada as well as debunk myths and misconceptions. The United Nations recognizes more than 20 million refugees worldwide; with unprecedented numbers of people facing forced migration, students will analyze factors that contribute to a migration crisis. Students will also examine the challenges that newcomers may face when they arrive in Canada.  Finally, students will exercise compassion for refugees by considering the difficulty of fleeing from their homes and explore the idea of global citizenship. 

This workshop is a helpful addition to classroom discussions already taking place surrounding multiculturalism and diversity in Canada. Students will be able to draw connections to topics on Canadian history, legal systems, and responsibility to upholding human rights. 

Unpacking Poverty and Homelessness in Manitoba Workshop

Grades 7-12: In this workshop, students will learn about the history of poverty in the context of Winnipeg, Manitoba. They will unpack systemic and social determinants of poverty and examine how they are interrelated. Different types of poverty will be explored and students will be encouraged to reflect and think critically about how poverty happens. Participating in various empathy-building activities, students will unlearn common misconceptions and stereotypes about those who experience poverty and homelessness. Ultimately, students will encounter solutions to the poverty problem here in Manitoba and will be encouraged to consider which they might be able to take action on.

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