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Toronto Catholic District School Board



St.Mary's Catholic Academy: YMCA Youth Cultural Exchange


The YMCA Exchange of 2018 was one to remember! This year, St. Mary Catholic Academy was paired with Boyle Street Education Centre, located in Edmonton Alberta. This exchange was particularly interesting as it was  a 10 year anniversary of travel with this group. The objective of the exchange is to provide Canadian youth with an opportunity to see a different region of Canada, and to learn about the area’s rich cultural, historical and geographic  character. The exchange  is run through YMCA Canada and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Culture and Heritage and St. Mary has been participating in this for 13 years.


During our time in Edmonton we were lucky enough to; explore the city of Edmonton with our first stop at the Gretzky statute, a visit to West Edmonton Mall, a hike in the Rocky Mountains and a stay at Goldeye Centre. We also visited iHuman, a non-profit organization to learn about Art as a tool of empowerment for youth in Edmonton. The highlight of the trip was the opportunity to learn about Indigenous culture by participating  in a pipe ceremony, visiting and cleaning a sweat lodge, making medicine bags, and participating in smudging ceremonies. During our time with this group of students we were fortunate enough to explore and experience Indigenous culture. We made deep connections to youth across Canada, further illustrating the importance of understanding the role youth play in  the future of Canada's cultural mosaic. 






Superior North

From March 15-March 19th, approximately 30 students and staff from across the TCDSB ventured to Northwestern Ontario to build relationships and increase our knowledge about the Indigenous peoples, practices, and even problems.  We were warmly hosted by the Superior North Catholic District School Board.  This was the second time for this trip, and hopefully this program continues to grow. The pictures speak to the engagement and deep learning that was experienced by all.







Kathleen Blinkhorn Aboriginal Student Award

Since 2010, ONPHA has awarded the Kathleen Blinkhorn Aboriginal Student Scholarship to a selection of deserving Aboriginal students living in non-profit housing in Ontario. The scholarship provides each student with $1,000 to support the costs of their post-secondary education. This year, with the generous support of Union Gas, ONPHA is excited to be able to double our support from 5 to 10 Aboriginal students.


Please click here for more details.



On This Rock

Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts


Aurora Pagano (visual arts program coordinator) and the art students of Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts are working on a project to help build connections with Indigenous students, communities and all Canadians across the country, through a collaborative art project and exhibit called ‘ON THIS ROCK’ we all call home.

City TV News recently picked our story to help promote our project. (Link to report).

The art exhibit and installation will be housed in the Catholic Education Board office and will feature the center piece consisting of a symbolic Medicine Wheel and a 6ft Stone house sculpture. The rocks used to create the house sculpture, will be those sent to us from citizens across the country. We ALL LIVE ON THIS ROCK we call our home!

It will be symbolic in representing a unified nation, built on compassion and healing - not only for Indigenous people, but for all communities. I am reaching out to you because we need your help. 
How you can take part:

1. Have your students upload a video of themselves saying the following script: 
'HI my name is  ___________ and I live on this rock".  
Hashtag the video  #onthisrock  and  #cardinalcarteracademyforthearts

Then send us the rocks to be used in the construction of the house.
Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts   att: A.Pagano

2. Have your students create a card of peace and hope for all Indigenous 
communities across Canada -theme: we are all one 
-Send your cards to Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts (att A.Pagano)
The cards will be used in the exhibit and later sent to the Indigenous communities with photos of the art installation we created.
My students and I hope you will find this project worthy of your participation.
In Gratitude,
Aurora Pagano


12th Annual Strawberry Ceremony

February 14, 2017


The 12th Annual Strawberry Ceremony took place at the Toronto Police Headquarters to acknowledge and honour Missing Murdered and Indigenous Women and Girls.  The students from St.Joseph's College attended the ceremony where they carried and displayed their banner in honour of MMIWG that they had begun back in September.  The banner impressed the crowds so much that the students were asked to lead the march down College Street onto Yonge Street. 


Students from St. Joseph's College carry their banner during a march a long College Street in honour of Missing Murdered and Indigenous Women and Girls at the Strawberry Ceremony.


St. Andrew's Catholic Elementary School


January 25, 2016

The St. Andrew's community celebrated their kick-off of their Moccasin Project. The project is an inquiry on teaching and learning about Indigenous peoples and perspectives; it represents a “Call to Action” towards reconciliation. Also, it reflects the importance of preserving language and identity.  The project is a partnership among teachers in the ELL Program and the Intermediate students.  The community is also undertaking this partnership with the idea of it growing the project amongst schools in the TCDSB community, and building relationships with a First Nations school.



Students learn indigenous history by reenacting colonization in unique blanket exercise


NAIG:  Employment and Volunteer Opportunities

The Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) are expected to be the largest sporting and cultural gathering of Indigenous Peoples in North America (July 16 to 23). The Toronto 2017 NAIG will host more than 5,000 participants, 2,000 volunteers and countless spectators for 14 sport categories being held within world-class venues located across the Greater Toronto Area, including the Region of Hamilton and Six Nations of the Grand River.
Employment and volunteer opportunities are available:




Powers/St. Joseph High School 

Orange Shirt Day, September 29, 2016

Read more about Every Child Matters


St.Joseph's College

Nuit Blance, Sunset October 1, 2016-Sunrise October 2, 2016

Read more about the Residential School Memorial Wall 


St. Joseph's College

The Red Dress Project--The Year of the Parish, October 1, 2016

Read more about the The Red Dress Project


Cardinal Carter Academy

The Red Dress Project--

Read more about the Installation