Spirit Horse, a powerful theatrical production that chronicles the adventures of two Aboriginal children who challenge cultural stereotypes and confront racism, is igniting imaginations and studies in First Nations, Métis and Inuit diversity, history and perspectives in local elementary schools.
Adapted by Ojibway playwright Drew Hayden Taylor, Spirit Horse is being performed for Grades 4-8 students this week by Roseneath Theatre, Ontario’s largest professional touring company.
All performances are accompanied by online and face-to-face professional development/learning for public elementary teachers.
Organized by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) with support from the Ontario Ministry of Education, the Spirit Horse tour will bring Aboriginal perspectives to elementary students and teachers at public and First Nations schools in 75 southern Ontario communities over ten weeks this spring. Endorsed by the Chiefs of Ontario, the initiative builds on the Ministry’s Social Studies curriculum.
“Spirit Horse has proven to be a powerful learning experience about stereotyping and racism, one that offers an important message of hope for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students and teachers,” said Adelina Cecchin, President of Greater Essex ETFO Teacher Local.
Greater Essex ETFO Occasional Teacher Local President Sharon Ciebin added, “By understanding the systemic discrimination and barriers that First Nations, Métis and Inuit people face in Canada in the present and past, our youth will be better equipped to be part of the solution to these pressing problems.”
Spirit Horse is a powerful play about the challenges faced by two Aboriginal children whose family is caught between the traditional ways and contemporary urban culture. The Roseneath Theatre cast includes a musician and three actors who play over 65 characters.
ETFO has established a website at www.spirithorse.ca which features tour dates and locations, online professional development/learning, classroom resources and ways for students to post comments to the cast arising from the play.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 76,000 elementary public school teachers and education professionals across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.