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A Day with Inuvialuit Residential School Survivor Margaret Pokiak-Fenton and author Christy Jordan-Fenton

Registration Closed
Facilitator(s): Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
Christy Jordan-Fenton
Date:May 05, 2017
Time:9:00 am – 3:30 pm
(includes lunch, which is not prepared in a nut/gluten-free environment)
Location: St. Albert (Cornerstone Hall)
6 Tache Street
Google Map
Course code: 17-AB-309

Target Audience

Teachers, Administrators, and other educational stakeholders who would like to deepen their understanding of Indian Residential School culture, histories and perspectives

About this learning opportunity

Inuvialuit residential school survivor Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, and author Christy Jordan-Fenton talk residential school history, Inuvialuit culture, resilience, and more.

This session will go into great depth concerning decolonized perspectives and why they are important to understand before teaching Indian Residential School (IRS), as well as the intergenerational effects and what is meant by “it takes seven generations to heal.”

The day will include photographs, a music video, readings from Fatty Legs and A Stranger at Home, augmented by storytelling from Margaret-Olemaun.

The focus of the day will include:

  • Inuvialuit culture, IRS history,
  • bullying and resilience,
  • an introduction to decolonized perspectives,
  • the intergenerational effects of IRS,
  • other resources to explore (books, films, art, music), lesson plans, classroom activities, dealing with the problems that may arise from teaching about IRS history (from resistance from IRS survivor parents and guardians, to students who have experienced abuse and how they may be triggered, to teaching such subject matter in religiously affiliated schools, and much more),
  • avenues of truth and reconciliation and how to involve students in those,
  • how to design a curriculum that can be inserted into the mainstream curriculum (such as a language arts novel study for a book about IRS),
  • how technology can be used to teach this subject matter, and
  • sample projects from teachers. 


At the end of the session, the Musée Heritage will showcase resources and student programming.

This learning opportunity is being provided through funding from Alberta Education.

About the facilitator(s)

Margaret Pokiak-Fenton is best known as the indomitable subject of four award winning children’s books about her time at residential school in the 1940s, to include FATTY LEGS. Margaret is Inuvialuk, hailing from Banks Island. She speaks at more than one hundred engagements a year, sharing stories of resilience, the path to reclaiming cultural identity, surviving residential school, resilience, and traditional Inuvialuit culture. Her stories have been adapted to theatrical presentations, and she is featured in Keith Secola’s music video for Say Your Name. At 80, Margaret remains lively and inspiring, and is a proud language keeper.

Christy Jordan-Fenton is an award winning author who writes about her mother-in-law’s residential school experiences (Fatty Legs, A Stranger at Home), as well as her own experiences as the child of a residential school survivor. She is passionate about fostering perspectives of decolonized thought that focus on resilience, reclaiming cultural identity, healing through stories, and how to put reconciliation into meaningful action. She is devoted to traditional ceremonies, is a proud mother, an indigenous rights activist, and a land defender who actively participated in the Rocky Mountain Fort Camp.