Students at Silverdale Elementary School study a huge map of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada on Wednesday. The map is one of only five known copies and the only one in B.C. / Submitted Photo

Students at Silverdale Elementary School study a huge map of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada on Wednesday. The map is one of only five known copies and the only one in B.C. / Submitted Photo

Silverdale students study gym-sized map of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada

The map is one of only five in existence across Canada and is the only one in B.C.

Silverdale Elementary School students and staff were actively engaged in exploring a gym-sized map of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada on Wednesday.

The map was created by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in partnership with the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Métis Nation, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, and Indspire.

The map is one of only five in existence across Canada and is the only one in B.C.

Principal Rob Clark said that, during the past weeks, teachers have been collaborating using the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, the wealth of knowledge of the school’s Indigenous mentor teacher, Peggy Janicki, and Aboriginal liaison worker, Joe Kelly, in creating an exceptionally meaningful educational experience for not only the students, but for everyone involved.

He also acknowledged the work of Angie Bout, Silverdale’s teacher librarian, and Jennifer Lane, the literacy helping teacher.

“There were so many learning opportunities associated with the map and the resources that come with it. Every child from kindergarten to Grade 6 came into the gym with an idea of what they will learn, and left with significantly more than they had expected,” Clark said.

He said the level of engagement and respect that was demonstrated by everyone involved demonstrated the strong connections being created at the school.

“As the principal, I am continually humbled and impressed by the level of support, knowledge, understanding, and respect we get to enjoy as part of Mission Public School District.

“(Wednesday) was a day that changed lives and perspectives. I couldn’t have imagined a better experience.”