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Hollywood PS Embarks on Learning Journey About the Importance of Clean Water

Categories: General News

Hollywood PS student carrying water in a copper pot during the Water Walk.

Hollywood PS students have embarked on a learning journey exploring the vital role of water in our lives and the critical challenges surrounding access to clean water, specifically in Indigenous communities. As a result of participating in the Biidaaban Research at the Urban Indigenous Education Centre, teachers Poonam Singh, Jennifer Kilburn, and Lindsay Freeman facilitated a pathway for the Hollywood Public School community to engage in a variety of actions towards Truth and Reconciliation. This comprehensive inquiry, spanning several weeks, kicked off with the Great Gulp Challenge and culminated in a series of impactful activities, including a Water Walk led by Anishinaabe members of the AlterEden organization.
With a blend of classroom discussions, investigations, hands-on activities, and collaborative projects, students delved into the multifaceted aspects of water through an Indigenous lens. They recognized personal and Indigenous connections to water as a life force and as a human right. Students examined water and its significance in sustaining life, as well as pressing issues of water pollution and water insecurity in Indigenous communities. Kicking off the inquiry, students participated in the Great Gulp Challenge on World Water Day, raising awareness of the need for clean and accessible water sources in Ontario.

As the inquiry progressed, students engaged in discussions, research and reflection to understand the challenges faced by Indigenous communities and explore avenues for support and advocacy. Kindergarten students created and sold pendants for the Water Walk. The proceeds were used to support the Dreamcatcher Foundation, endorsed by global Indigenous water activist, Autumn Peltier. The school’s ECO Club also participated in fundraising initiatives to support Indigenous communities.
In a culmination of their efforts, Hollywood PS students embarked on a Water Walk that was symbolic of their advocacy for clean water for Indigenous communities and putting an end to the need for water advisories. Students demonstrated their commitment to effecting positive change.
Throughout the water inquiry, students demonstrated remarkable empathy, curiosity and determination. By engaging deeply with the issue of water access and inequity in Indigenous communities, students have not only expanded their understanding of the world around them, but also cultivated a sense of responsibility towards creating a more just and sustainable future.