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Latin-America History Month

Thursday, April 1, 2021
Categories: Great Things, Happenings @ TDSB

Art drawn by Grade 8 student showing a bird flying above water for Latin-America History Month

During the month of April, the Toronto District School Board proudly recognizes Latin-America History Month. In April 2016, our TDSB Board of Trustees voted that April be designated as Latin-America History Month. The motion was a result of advocacy on behalf of TDSB students, educators, parents/caregivers as well as community organizations within LAEN-The Latinx, Afro-Latin-America Abya Yala Education Network. Together, hundreds of community members called for the TDSB to take up the work of addressing social inequities harming TDSB school families with ancestry from the Lands that are known in Western mainstream culture as Latin-America.

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April 7, 2021
1 p.m. - 2 p.m.

 

Art drawn by a Kindergarten student for Latin-America History Month

Since its creation in 2016, the planning committee has grown in its breadth, depth and scope, searching every year for more intentional ways of working in solidarity with Indigenous nations of Turtle Island (Canada) and ways to bring Elders, Knowledge Keepers, educators and families together to decolonize understandings of Latin-America. The Latin-America History volunteer planning committee is comprised of TDSB students, staff, parents/caregivers, community educators and activist. Committee members are pursuing intentional partnerships with the TDSB Urban Indigenous Education Centre, Dodem Kanonhsa among other community partners to ensure that there is a collective building of initiatives to achieve healthy, transformative, restorative, equitable, caring, culturally responsive and reflective educational spaces for all.

Art drawn by a Grade 2 student for Latin-America History Month

This year’s theme is entitled, “(DeColonizing) Latin-America History Month & Beyond: Learning together about our collective pasts, alongside our relatives of today, the Eagle, the Quetzal and the Condor.” Through the representation of the Eagle, the Quetzal and the Condor, April marks our efforts to go deeper into the histories/herstories/theirstories that have not been told through mainstream education narratives about Latin-America. The visual for our month depicts the coming together of the Eagle representing the Lands of North America, the Quetzal representing the Lands of Central America and the Condor representing the Lands of South America. During the month, we will learn about the large extent of diversity of human experiences found within Central and South America and those who claim ancestry to these Lands. Connections to Indigenous sovereignty and solidarity with other BIPOC communities within Turtle Island (Canada) will also be uplifted and highlighted as key elements of decolonizing education on Latin-America. Decolonizing Latin-America refers to a deep dive into teachings that will reveal many factual, but not wide known truths, such as why it is that Latin-America can also be referred to as Afro-Latin-America, Amerrique, Abya Yala and Pachamama, to name a few. The TDSB community at large will have the opportunity to learn about the diversity in languages as well, with over 500 languages spoken in Latin-America, including Popti, Garifuna, Quechua, Kuna, Nahuatl, Aymara Guarani, Spanish and French.

Art drawn by a Grade 5 student featuring an large eagle, for Latin-America History Month

Continuing in our equity journey as a system and specifically connected to learning and unlearning narratives about Latin-America, the TDSB staff, community members and partners of the volunteer planning committee will curate and hold space for students to engage in artistic expressions, virtual youth-to-youth forums, virtual community circles, as well as offer the co-creation of culturally responsive and reflective curriculum, staff professional development sessions, data gathering related to addressing student and family needs arising from covid-19 and more! We aim to grow stronger as a TDSB community by sharing our stories of resilience, struggle and success, in relation to intentionally honouring and co-creating with the many territories and peoples over which the Eagle, the Quetzal and the Condor fly.

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