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Toronto Catholic District School Board

BMTM Meets Prime Minister

 

The school’s initiatives in Attawapiskat First Nation have garnered the attention of our Federal Government and of our own Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who they met yesterday in the House of Commons, in Ottawa.  

 
In 2016, students and staff traveled to Attawapiskat First Nation with the BMTM boys' soccer team to implement a week-long soccer camp.  They departed without expectations but returned filled with so many unforgettable experiences and with the burning desire to continue to connect with their Indigenous brothers and sisters through engaging activities.  Paulo Pereira from BMTM, and Dan Romano, who  left the Board and joined neighbouring YCDSB,  wanted to walk together in the journey they started in Attawapiskat when they founded Project First Nations, a non-profit organization geared toward implementing sports and arts programs in remote indigenous communities. It all started at Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton.
 
In the past 4 years, they have helped over 100 students from Toronto and Vaughan connect with youth from Attawapiskat and the results they have witnessed not only provide them with inspiration to continue the work but also with the conviction that they have found a model to accelerate the process of reconciliation.  The youth of today are the adults of tomorrow and the relationships they form now will continue to grow as they also grow. 
 
These experiences have led them to Ottawa where they met with numerous Members of Parliament, Cabinet Ministers, and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on May 29.  It was extremely productive and they are confident that they have taken a major step to garnering significant Government support, which will not only continue to help the students of BMTM but also those in others schools in the TCDSB community.  
 
Arif Virani, MP for Parkdale High Park (BMTM's riding), delivered a short speech in the House of Commons in which he mentions Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton and the work the students have done in Attawapiskat https://drive.google.com/open?id=1shTgU1Nh3Grd4fmvCPdDRGN2K8W_2KnX  You can also view it on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=619278698590893

 

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