Treaties Recognition Week

“The problem with history is it’s his story, not our story,” says Tom Porter, knowledge keeper and Bear Clan elder of the Mohawk nation. He’s speaking to a group of Grand Erie educators and staff ahead of Treaties Recognition Week in Ontario, sharing some of the lessons imparted in his book, And Grandma Said, a collection of Iroquois teachings passed down through oral tradition.

A group photo of Grand Erie educators Caption: Grand Erie staff with Tom Porter, front row centre

On the same day, at Brantford Collegiate Institute and Vocational School, Teacher Librarian Kate Johnson-McGregor is guiding a discussion with students visiting from James Hillier Public School. On a screen in front of them is a map of Ontario showing significant sites in treaty agreements over the past 300 years.

“What if history had been written from an Indigenous perspective?” she asks. “How might things be different?”

The first week of November is Treaties Recognition Week, a time to provide education on treaty rights, and honour the histories that weren’t always part of the curriculum.

Brantford Collegiate Institute and Vocational School was the site of a ‘Living Library’ event. Guest speakers included elder and historian David Plain and filmmaker Monica Virtue. Using an interactive map, they presented the interwoven history of European settlers to North America and the Indigenous peoples for whom Turtle Island was already home.

“So many people don’t realize how many land agreements and treaties there were, let alone how many have been broken since they were signed,” explains Plain. “Treaties Week is an important opportunity to tell the true history of the land.”

The ‘Living Library’ program brings this to life, providing students with an understanding of the country’s whole history thanks to local Indigenous elders and knowledge keepers who are invited into libraries to act as “talking books,” teaching students about treaties and our obligations in honouring treaty rights. A natural partnership between the Ontario School Libraries Association and the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, these events support the goals of active, lifelong inquiry, with an open commitment to social justice and equity.

Two people hold a wampum belt

Caption: Monica Virtue and David Plain hold a Two Row wampum

“It’s an honour to host this event and to create this space for everyone, while making visible such important issues” says Johnson-McGregor. “We are all treaty people; this is a history we’re all a part of.”

Knowledge is powerful. As part of its Multi-Year Plan, Grand Erie is committed to Equity, and Treaties Recognition Week is another means to increase the sense of belonging among all students.

Grand Erie classrooms will be highlighting Treaties Recognition Week throughout the month of November. A second Living Library event takes place at Brantford Collegiate Institute and Vocational School on November 14.

Woodman Girls Earn Wrestling Pennant

Woodman/Echo Place Wrestling Club was successful at the Brant Schools Wrestling Tournament held Thursday, May 8 at W. Ross MacDonald School for the Blind.

There were 26 wrestlers between the two schools that regularly practiced Wednesdays after school with Principal Greg Rowe. That practice must have paid off as 22 wrestlers received medals. Congratulations to the team who earned 5 gold medals, 13 silver medals and 4 bronze medals.

The girls’ team were the Girls’ Wrestling Champions and received a pennant. The Boys’ Wrestling team came in 2nd to a team from Banbury. Congratulations to the following team members: Dalton V., Jason L., Hunter W., Kavin G., Jarrett N., Ty H., Josh M., Juron L., Cole W., Gavin S., Simon H., Isaac C., Aaron B., Jude S., Tessa F., Kadyn J., Brittany B., Chloe S., Erin G., Hayle B., Avery M., Delana N., Thomas C., Justice H., Ryan J., and Marisa C.

Thanks to Principal Greg Rowe for coaching the team!

Badminton Tournament Results

On April 24th, the badminton team from Woodman went to the tournament at Pauline Johnson High School. This tournament had double elimination, so that if you lost 2 games, you were out of the tournament. The team had been cfor over a month now. Our coaches were Mr. Salter and Mr. Ellis. They decided which players would play singles, doubles, or mixed doubles. Teaghan and John, and Maggie and Hunter were picked to play as Mixed Doubles. Boys' Doubles were Parker, Zack, Jasanpreet, and Evan. Girls' Doubles were Mia and Jade, and Madison and Mindy. Single players were Megan, Arpun, Erica, Justice, and Jason. They also had Delana and Trista as the leaders in badminton for when they enter into grade 8 next year.

This year could be Woodman's record for the most teams that were in the top 5 and teams that placed in the top third or higher. Maggie and Hunter came first in Mixed Doubles, playing 4 games. They lost only 1 game in the finals for best 2 out of 3! Erica who was playing Girls' Singles also came in first! Mia and Jade also came first in Girls' Doubles with no losses. People who placed third were Teaghan, John, and Justice. All the people in third place that were playing for second had a tight game with their opponent. Justice for example was playing in Boys' Singles. He won 1 game and lost 2 in his final game. Both games he lost were only 5 points or less to his opponent. Woodman and Echo Place's teams did great this year!

A big thanks to Mr. Salter and Mr. Ellis for taking their time to have practices for the team. Also a big thanks to Mrs. Hearn for helping out with the tournament.

Chess Club News

This spring we held two very successful chess tournaments for the intermediate and junior players from Woodman and Echo Place Schools. We were then able to send a team to the Intermediate Tournament at King George School on April 2nd; Simon, Maggie, Jayd, Maia, Josh and Joe represented us well, showing that we are a team to watch out for in the future. On April 16th our Junior team consisting of Kenny, Jude, Jasper, Kavan, Ajay and Andy went to St George and placed 4th overall. A great wrap-up to our Friday afternoon chess club.

Mrs. Penny Wyatt, Chess Club Supervisor

Woodman Owns the Podium at Canada Skills Competition

On March 5th, two groups of students, along with teacher supervisor, Mr. Greg Salter, traveled to Waterloo to once again compete in the Canada Skills Competition. Last year, at this same event, Woodman came home with the provincial gold medal. Will they do the same again this year, was the question....This year, Woodman, successfully sent two boats to the competition. Once again, Woodman reigned supreme and finished not only in gold, but silver as well. Congratulations to the following medalists!

I've asked one of the participants, Mindy P., to write about the experience. Here is her account:

The grade 8 students from Woodman participated in the Ontario cardboard boat contest. To build a boat they had limited supplies (1 roll of duct tape, 2 8x4 ft cardboard sheets, and measuring utensils). The first time the grade 8 students built a boat was with the whole class. At Wayne Gretzky they raced against schools in Brantford. Jason got Woodman’s record for the fastest speed with 16 seconds!

A few weeks later and 8 grade 8’s were going to Guelph to compete with schools in Southern Ontario. Team number 34 consisted of Justice, Mindy, Alexis and Teaghan. Team number 21 had Kendra, Maggie, John and Hunter. The rules at Guelph were that all teams had 2 hours to make their boat and decorate if desired. One rule about the racing was that only 1 or 2 members could paddle. Team number 34 had Justice and Teaghan paddling, and team number 21 had Maggie paddling. The only new material that was introduced was special glue that bonds cardboard together. Although there were rules with the glue such as it cannot be visible. Both Woodman teams were able to finish on time with enough time to decorate and spare. Team number 34 made their boat a Christmas theme and team number 21 made their boat as Poseidon, a Greek god. Woodman left with a gold medal and a silver medal. The silver medal winners were team number 21 they raced their boat in 25 seconds and held 720 pounds! They were the winners for the most weight and collected 86.50 points out of 100. Team number 34 took the gold medal home and raced their boat in 22.72 seconds and held 475 pounds! This team had the fastest time and had 95 points in the end!

A month later and Woodman’s teams were advancing to the provincials. Rules were the same, but team numbers were different. Team number 2 had Kendra, Maggie, John and Hunter. Team number 13 was composed of Justice, Mindy, Alexis and Teaghan. This time team 2 decorated their boat as a Viking boat, and team number 13 continued with their previous Christmas theme. Also the paddlers for team number 13 were Teaghan and Justice and team number 2 had Maggie and Hunter. The most satisfying part of the provincials was that Woodman won silver and gold again! Team number 2 raced in 23.56 and could hold 6 students altogether weighing 720 pounds and finished with 82.25 points out of 100. Team number 2 paddled the boat in 21.81 seconds and held 578 pounds, this team earned 86 points. Woodman School has once again won gold in provincials and improved with silver as well!

Woodman Snack Program

The Morning Snack Program at Woodman-Cainsville School is running well; children are offered a healthy snack featuring three food groups every morning, thanks to our many volunteers and community partners. Our amazing shopper is Ms. Dean and the food is delivered on a weekly basis. A special thank you to our parent volunteer, Ms. Jessica Hearns, who is in charge of the "chop crew".

Student volunteers Trena McAuley-Allen, Nick Radmore, Josh Barnett, Rhianna Foster, Sklyar Potts, and Kadyn Jenkinson have all been working to get the food ready for the bins and the bins ready for the classes. Thanks to all of them!

Editor's Note: A big thanks to Mrs. Wyatt, Mrs. Barrieau and Mrs. Johnson who coordinate the student volunteers every morning before school and who get the bins ready after school. We thank them for their commitment to this service to the students of Woodman-Cainsville Public School.

New Student Information System Update for Parents

Dear Parents/Guardians of returning students,

As we enter the school year, parents/guardians may be interested to learn that Grand Erie District School Board has migrated to a new Student Information System. This new software enables school and Board staff to manage student information more effectively.

Through the registration process, parents/guardians are able to review the information previously collected by your child’s school. Some fields in the new student information form are blank for you to complete, giving you the opportunity to ensure that we have the most current information in the new system.

Grand Erie District School Board is committed to the privacy and protection of your child’s information by keeping accurate and relevant records. The collection of student and family information is necessary to provide an educational program for your child and to ensure a safe school environment for all students.

We appreciate your time providing information to ensure that our records are complete and accurate. For more information or concerns, please contact your school secretary or Principal.


David Abbey

Assistant Superintendent of Education

Yellow Day in Support of The Canadian Cancer Society

Friday April 17th is Yellow Day at Woodman! Students will be wearing yellow and decorating daffodils to build a garden of hope on our stage. They can place their own name or the name of a person they wish to honour on their flower. Students can bring a $2 donation. The Canadian Cancer Society will issue receipts for anyone who wishes to donate $10.00 or more. We are very proud of our Grade 8 heroes Meagan, Stacey and Vanessa for volunteering to lead this initiative. Woodman was the first (and still the only) elementary school in the board to accept the challenge.