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“Awaken the Imagination—Feel Wonder and Awe”

• Gshkoziwin programs inspire children and youth to awaken their imaginations, have confidence in their creativity, love making art, affirm their identity, take pride in their cultural heritage, have empathy for themselves and others, and a positive sense of self/spirit and well-being
• Teams of Gshkoziwiin facilitators provide Gshkoziwiin programs to children and youth in schools of Simcoe County.
• Teams of facilitators provide Gshkoziwiin multi-arts camps during school breaks and summers at Native Friendship Centres and at Springwater Provincial Park, Minnesing.

Gshkoziwiin programs address Calls to Action of the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2015):
• Develop and implement K-12 curriculum and learning resources that build student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy and mutual respect (Call 63)
• Create respectful learning environments that treat Indigenous and Euro-Canadian knowledge systems with equal respect (Call 64)
• Undertake projects in which Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists collaborate to produce artworks that contribute to the reconciliation process (Call 83)

The 5-hour (300-minute) program consists of three periods:
two cycles through the creative process and a period of cultural teachings.

First Period (100 mins.)

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Fun-filled warm-up exercises energize the body,
stimulate the mind and awaken the imagination.

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Students are supplied with cartridge paper, oil pastels
and the reproduction of an artwork from the
Call to Action # 83 Reconciliation Art Project,
with artworks by eight Indigenous and eight non-Indigenous artists.
They are given a visioning exercise while focusing on the artworks.

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The students are given prompts to begin making an original drawing.

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After 25 minutes they turn the drawings over and write about them on the back.

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Facilitators guide small groups to share thoughts and feelings about their drawings.

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The tell stories about their drawings and dramatize them.

Second Period (100 mins.)

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Gshkoziwiin staff show their artwork, tell how they came to be artists
and what inspires them to make art.

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Students return to the places. The morning drawings are beside them on the floor.
They are given a visioning exercise while viewing their own drawings.
They make a second drawing and again write on the back.

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They return to their sharing circles and talk about how their two drawings differ in theme and feeling.
They tell stories about their drawings and may dramatize them.
They often experience a transformation.

Third Period (100 mins.)
Cultural Teachings

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Staff members describe the Call 83 Reconciliation Art Project.
Indigenous members of the staff provide teachings on First Nations and Métis arts and culture.

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The program ends with a drum dance.

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The students fill out feedback forms.

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Staff and Students, Orchard Park PS, Orillia.