By Kahienes Sky, First Nations Student Success Program Coordinator

On Thursday, March 28th, the Kahnawake Survival School (KSS) was host to the 2013 Jeanne Sauvé Scholars.Twenty KSS Students were selected to represent their grade level in a one-day cultural exchange with Sauvé Scholars from the countries of Cuba (Handy Acosta Cuellar), Iran (Najme Kishani Farahami), Italy (Gioel Gioacchino), Vietnam (Thinh Nguyen), Polan/Sweden (Micah Grzywnowicz), India/Kashmir (Tairah Firdous), Uganda (Gerald Bareebe), Democratic Republic of Congo (Guy Milongo) and Canada
(Jonathan Sas and Naomi Kincler).

Eva Lahache, KSS Middle School Social Studies Teacher, was one of the KSS Staff on-hand to help facilitate the day’s events along with Kahienes Sky, contracted by the First Nations Student Success Program Coordinator.

The days’ festivities began with a Welcoming Circle and then small group story sharing between the Scholars and KSS students. There, the Scholars shared a little bit about their Country of origin.

Students were then encouraged to draw or map places they like or that provide comfort to them in our home community of Kahnawake. Then, they each picked one place and shared a story about that place with the Scholars. The lunch hour was marked by an exchange of cultural foods such as Italian pasta, Vietnamese spring rolls, and Swedish crisp bread, all brought by the international Scholars and also Kahnawake meat pie and corn soup provided by the KSS cafeteria. The KSS students spent the rest of the afternoon learning from the Scholars on how to develop a blog space, which was then further developed by the students. First, a personal picture was taken of a special place in Kahnawake that is important to each one of them, then wrote a story about that picture that would profile the cultural and personal value of it.

Gioel Gioacchino (Italy) and Najme Kishani (India/Kashmir), both liaisons to KSS in the planning of this initiative, provided an eloquent explanation of this activity, which was to “give students an opportunity to reflect about the historic and contemporary value of their community and how they personally relate to it.” Their stories were later shared and published in a blog which could be shared with as many people as possible, all around the world.