Connie Wyatt Anderson

Recipient of the 2014 Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Teaching

November 3, 2014
Canada's History speaks to Connie Wyatt Anderson about her attempts to interweave local and First Nations history into classroom assignments and discussions.

Oscar Lathlin Collegiate, Opaskwayak Cree Nation (Manitoba)

Connie Wyatt Anderson arrived at Oscar Lathlin Collegiate in Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Manitoba, in 1992. There she found that her students were often disenfranchised when it came to their family, community, and national history. Despite the obstacles her students faced growing up in a remote community, they were also kind, thoughtful, and were fun to learn and engage with.

Mrs. Anderson helps connect her students with the history of the First World War and how Canada’s identity has been shaped by the conflict. Over a nine day project students explore popular culture and the First World War, learn about the causes of the war and Canada’s entry into the conflict, study First Nations participation in the war, learn about aboriginal soldiers like Francis Pegahmagabow, and learn about critical battles at The Somme and Vimy Ridge. By interweaving local and First Nations history into every unit of study she helps her students to see themselves as part of the past, and maybe, more importantly, part of the future.