Prov­ince ex­pand­ing Shar­ing Our Cul­tures

Pro­gram will now be of­fered to stu­dents in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay, Labrador City, Cor­ner Brook and Grand Falls-Wind­sor

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - Front Page - BY EVAN CA­REEN

THE LABRADORIAN

Newly minted Ad­vanced Ed­u­ca­tion, Skills and Labour Min­is­ter Bernard Davis was in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay on Fri­day, Nov. 16 to an­nounce fund­ing to ex­pand the Shar­ing Our Cul­tures pro­gram to four re­gions of the prov­ince.

The provin­cial gov­ern­ment an­nounced $149,000 to bring the pro­gram, cur­rently only of­fered in St. John’s, to Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay, Labrador City, Cor­ner Brook and Grand Falls-Wind­sor.

Shar­ing our Cul­tures was founded in 1999 by Dr. Lloy­detta Quaicoe. The aim of the pro­gram is to en­gage stu­dents from di­verse cul­tures and back­grounds and to help fos­ter be­long­ing and ac­cep­tance re­gard­less of eth­nic­ity, cul­ture, lan­guage, abil­ity, or re­li­gion.

“Shar­ing our Cul­tures will give you a chance to get to know each other, build new friend­ships and learn more about the rich di­ver­sity of cul­ture that ex­ists here in Labrador,” Davis said. “We know Labrador is one of the di­verse re­gions in the prov­ince and Labrado­ri­ans have a proud his­tory of en­cour­ag­ing di­ver­sity and mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism.”

Davis said it aligns with the provin­cial gov­ern­ments goals of pro­mot­ing di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion and help fos­ter cul­tural un­der­stand­ing among youth.

The pro­gram was ini­tially fo­cused on new­comer cul­ture but has ex­panded to en­com­pass Indige­nous cul­tures as well, Quaicoe said, in­clud­ing Inuit, Innu and Mi’kmaq, all rep­re­sented in the prov­ince.

Quaicoe said they’ve been work­ing on this ex­pan­sion of the pro­gram since 2014 and are very happy to see it mov­ing for­ward. She said it fits well with the cur­ricu­lum for so­cial stud­ies and lan­guage arts. This fund­ing will al­low them to hire co­or­di­na­tors for the re­gions and pro­vide the re­sources to the schools, so it won’t be out of pocket for them.

In terms of the pro­gram it­self, Quaicoe said it starts early in the school year and meets once a week or so.

“So the stu­dents brain­storm and de­cide each week on what as­pect of cul­ture they want to fo­cus on,” she said. “So let’s say they de­cide on mu­sic, then they have to re­search that and get an op­por­tu­nity to do a pre­sen­ta­tion or a dis­play board.”

They in­vite other stu­dents to see the dis­plays dur­ing Mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism Week, held in March each year, and share what they learned.

“We’d like to see in ev­ery re­gion where Shar­ing our Cul­tures is of­fered, that they make it their own,” Quaicoe said. “It re­flects the cul­ture of the place and that col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween school and com­mu­nity.

“We don’t want to im­port it into the com­mu­nity, we want them to take it and make it their own.”

PHO­TOS BY EVAN CA­REEN – THE LABRADORIAN

Ad­vanced Ed­u­ca­tion, Skills and Labour Min­is­ter Bernard Davis an­nounced the Shar­ing Our Cul­tures fund­ing in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay on Nov. 16.

A num­ber of gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, school staff and stu­dents were on hand for the Shar­ing Our Cul­tures fund­ing an­nounce­ment.

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