November is Indigenous Education Month
In November, we honour Indigenous Education Month at the TDSB. This month reminds us to centre First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives, histories and contemporary realities. In classrooms across the TDSB, it is an opportunity to learn about treaties, Indigenous leadership, achievements, and resistance.
Over the course of this month, students, staff and community members recognize a number of important days to deepen knowledge, to learn together about our shared history, and to build stronger relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Learn more at https://www.tdsb.on.ca/News/Article-Details/ArtMID/474/ArticleID/1551/November-is-Indigenous-Education-Month-at-TDSB.
November is Hindu Heritage Month
In 2016, the Government of Ontario declared the month of November each year as Hindu Heritage Month. Further to this, on April 18, 2018, the TDSB Board of Trustees voted to recognize the month of November as Hindu Heritage Month. Canadians of Hindu faith have greatly contributed to civic life in Canada for decades, and are a vibrant part of the growth and prosperity of Toronto, Ontario and Canada. November is an opportunity to celebrate the Hindu way of life, examine its impact and contributions to the world culture, and recognize values which promote compassion, mutual respect and inclusion – and hey, it is the birthplace of the number zero, without which the binary code in computers could not exist!
The theme chosen this year to recognize Hindu Heritage Month at the Toronto District School Board is Om Shanti: Living Together in Peace. The Sanskrit words OM Shanti are considered to be one of the most important mantras or sacred sounds in Hinduism. OM, or AUM, is energy, a vibration from which all the universe originates. Shanti refers to peace in many levels of existence. For example, OM Shanti refers to experiencing peace at the level of the body, mind and spirit. From a wider perspective, it is a prayer for peace in the whole world, including the environment and in our relationships with friends, family, communities and countries – indeed in the entire creation. The word Shanti is chanted three times in the belief that the desire to attain peace will come true. OM Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi!
A poster challenge has been put forth to all TDSB students and in the upcoming weeks we will be excited to select two poster designs and post them.
October is Somali Heritage Month
Since June 2016, the TDSB has had the privilege to recognize Somali Heritage Month. The TDSB affirms our commitment to celebrating Somali Heritage Month and encourages students and staff to take this opportunity to learn about the history, heritage and diversity of the Somali community. The theme “Educate. Elevate. Excel.” continues to be explored this year.
There are many Somalians who immigrated to Canada who continue to participate and to educate others in their traditions within their new environment. Music has always been an integral part of Somali tradition, and one well-known Somali-Canadian artist who has been sharing his love of songs on the world stage is Keinan Abdi Warsame (K’naan). K’naan was born in May 30, 1978 in Mogadishu which is located in the southeastern Banaadir province of Somali and later moved to Toronto’s Rexdale community as a young teenager with members of his family. K’naan is identified as a poet, rapper, singer, songwriter and instrumentalist; however, he is renowned for his song “Waving Flag” as it was chosen as Coca-Cola’s promotional anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup that was hosted by South Africa. This song continues to be a favourite across the globe today.
October is Islamic Heritage Month
At the Toronto District School Board, Islamic Heritage Month is proudly recognized during the month of October. On June 22, 2016, the TDSB passed a motion to recognize Islamic Heritage Month in October. Subsequently, in 2016, the province of Ontario established October as Islamic History Month (IHM) through the Islamic Heritage Month Act, “proclaiming a month to be Islamic Heritage Month in Ontario will provide all Ontarians, both today and in future generations, with an opportunity to reflect, celebrate and learn about the rich and longstanding Islamic history in the Province and the diverse roles and contributions of Muslim people in communities across Ontario. This new understanding will in turn help combat anti-Islamic sentiment.”