Thomas Doherty - Keewaytinook Okimakanak Board of Education
Year: 2017 – Province: Ontario
Certificate of Excellence Recipient
Keewaytinook Okimakanak Board of Education
P.O. Box 340
Balmertown, Ontario P0V 1C0
Subjects and grades taught: Kindergarten to Grade 9, Student Retention Lead Teacher
A strong enthusiasm to share his Métis heritage with his students, a respect for the land and a regard for the Ojibwa culture and language inspires Thomas Doherty to show students how to think outside the box. Encouraging collaborative and independent online learning, Doherty creates a stimulating learning environment and engages his students in projects that broaden their global perspective and enhance their understanding.
Doherty embraces a cross-curricular approach that is consistently tied back to Indigenous teachings – an example of this is how after a presentation from a local police officer about ice safety, Doherty had his students apply their knowledge on an ice fishing expedition with local Elders, bringing their catch to the local homeless shelter at the end of the day.
- Partnered with ImagineAction as his students researched diabetes and exercise, and produced a presentation that they gave as they sold bouquets of daisies door to door to raise funds for a new community playground.
- Drew from Ojibwa traditions in a project where his students worked with an artist to create Woodland art, auctioned it off and used the funds to purchase supplies to volunteer at the local community gardens that provide food to the local homeless shelters.
- Developed a collaborative digital "Book of Life" project with his students that allowed them to bring their stories to life – with some books being highlighted on local television.
- Developed and disseminated curricula and learning materials to the James Bay Coastal Education Authorities based on the traditions of the Peetabeck.
"Our excursion on the Muskeg was one of the coolest things that I had done in my teaching career. It was something that had not been done before in that community thanks to Tom."
"Thomas Doherty has a passion for his people and the vision to bring forth greatness through his action. An Anishinaabe teacher at St. John, Thomas has adapted his teaching to meet the needs of his students in the modern world, as well as the traditional Anishinaabe world."
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