• This session will offer opportunities for all stakeholders in the education system to learn about the full, accurate and honest history of the Residential School System in Canada.
• Discussions and reflections will be framed through the lens of the actual evolution of the system itself, of enduring intergenerational impacts and our opportunity to affect significant change now.
• You will walk away with a deeper understanding of the history of the Residential School System and resources that you can use to build knowledge and capacity to meaningfully address this in your learning environment.
President Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association
Jay is the proud son of Susie and Vernon Jones, both are Shingwauk Residential School Survivors. He considers himself a “1st Generation Out Survivor”, but he is also a 5th Generation Indian Residential School Survivor: four generations on his father’s side and two generations on his mother’s side. In Jay’s words, “My blood is from Walpole Island First Nation in southern Ontario, Bkejwanong Territory (Where the Waters Divide).”
Jay is currently the President of the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association (CSAA), a grassroots organization that was formally started in 1981 with healing and Indian Residential School education being the main focus. His mother was a founding member of this group along with other Elders/survivors from Shingwauk Indian Residential School. He is also a committee member for the Missing Children and Unmarked Burials, a national committee to find burial places of IRS students and he belongs to 2 other committees that address the Indian Residential School story associated with Algoma University. Jay has been asked to lead the effort, along with the Elders of the CSAA, in the search for unmarked Burials at the Shingwauk Indian Residential School in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
Jay Jones is also a dedicated and active volunteer for Michigan Special Olympics for 33 years, an automotive designer by trade working for General Motors and a proud father of one son, Dakota.
Charlene Bearhead is a mother, grandmother, educator, Indigenous education advocate and author with over 30 years of regional, national and international experience. Charlene is the co-author of the children’s book series, Siha Tooskin Knows. She is currently the Director of Reconciliation at Canadian Geographic, and a member of the Indigenous Education Advisory Circle for the National Film Board. Previously Charlene served as education days coordinator for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, education coordinator for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, education advisor for the Canadian Geographic Indigenous People’s Atlas of Canada and as a member of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Indigenous Education working group. Charlene also served as the first education lead for both the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba and the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre at The University of British Columbia (UBC). Although Charlene is humbled by each award that she has received, she cites the blanketing ceremony by the Resolution Health Support Workers (Alberta Region) - many of whom are Elders, survivors and intergenerational survivors of residential school - as the deepest honour to have ever been bestowed upon her.