Hi there tout la gang,

We don't have much to say about research in practice at the Café right now

but we are talking policy and practice over here now: Literacy Enquirers.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

each one

Here is what Charlie Angus wrote about the forum:

Meegwetch to the hundreds of students and activists who made it to Toronto today for the historic "EDUCATION IS A HUMAN RIGHT CONFERENCE" hosted by the children of Attawapiskat. It was one of the most inspiring events I have ever attended. We know so many supporters and friends couldn't make it so here are some of my own quick highlights of the day:

16-year-old Serena Koostachin stood up and gave an inspiring speech that invoked the spirit of Rosa Parks. "We are the children who have spent our entire life sitting at the back of the bus. And we aren’t going to sit at the back any longer. Do you know the story of Rosa Parks in Alabama? In those days, Black people had to sit at the back of the bus. It was the way things had been done for years. And then, one day Rosa Parks sat at the front of the bus and said she wasn’t going to sit at the back any longer. One person stood up for her rights and she helped change America. All across Canada First Nation children go to school in crappy portables or in buildings that are condemned. This is the way things have been done for years in Canada – ever since the days of the Residential Schools. But the children in our community stood up and said no. We aren’t willing to sit at the back of the education bus any more."

Another highlight was when all the schools present stood up and said why they were there. It took over 20 minutes to list off the schools -- London, Ottawa, Waterloo, Woodstock, Mississauga, Timmins, Exeter, plus so many schools from Toronto.

Chief Terry Waboose of Nishnabi Aski Nation gave a powerful talk where he thanked the children of Attawapiskat for their pride and refusal to give up hope. Then he said, but what about all the children in the rest of our territories? "If we can fill a room with so many people who care about Attawapiskat then we need to fill Toronto stadium to help the children of Pikangikum, North Spirit Lake, Cat Lake, etc."

The leadership from all the school boards and education leaders was inspiring. But the real leaders were the students. The Attawapiskat youth leaders made us so proud but we were also so proud of the hundreds and hundreds of students who committed to take the campaign into their schools and their communities. The Attawapiskat campaign has been called the largest youth-driven children's rights movement in Canadian history. It just got a whole lot bigger today.

Looking forward to the students and activists who will be posting great photos and video of the event.

Every student left this event with the task: EACH ONE REACH ONE - -EACH ONE TEACH ONE.

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