|The symposium began with an Aboriginal Welcome and Blessing by Derrick Bressette who described the three braids of sweetgrass as representing the mind, the body and the spirit. He suggested the sweetgrass could be a metaphor for the challenges and hope required for equity initiatives. He was followed by The Minister of Education, Kathleen Wynne who spoke to the urgent need for equity and representation in schools. Ms. Wynne recounted a story of child with two mothers who did not see her family represented anywhere in her classroom or school and the impact that had on her learning.|
Keynote Speaker Trevor Wilson delivered a dynamic presentation on the power of positive psychology and outlined the business case for diversity. The CRRF displayed its educational and promotional material and answered questions of many educators about its programs and activities. In particular, school administrators were eager to hear about the CRRF Education and Training Program and showed interest in having CRFF Equity training in their schools. Participants were also very interested in the upcoming Awards of Excellence Symposium. Chief Commissioner, Barbara Hall, of the Ontario Human Rights Commission was the luncheon speaker. The symposium was an excellent chance to hear about Ontario’s Equity Strategy and to connect with school administrators who are passionate and committed to this important work.