The Turtle Mountain - Souris Heritage Association held their annual informational forum this past Thursday with a variety of speakers.

Maggie Andres teaches at Minto School. She says the Turtle Mountain School Division is encouraging students to delve deeper when teaching rather than skipping along the surface when it comes to different topics, including Canadian History. With the help of story-telling and visiting local museums and sites she has been able to bring local history to life for her students.

"Local History is an inspiring topic," she says. "It's both inspiring and empowering and I knew that we had these amazing resources locally. We have the Turtle Mountain - Souris Heritage Association, we have the Moncur Gallery, we have all these sites that are still here. I really wanted to use this wealth of information that we have and just make it more visible for the students."

"Teachers are busy people," says Andres, "and so if resources are easily accessible and easy to implement in the classroom that just helps us do our jobs well. There's such a wealth of information out there, but to find it and actually see it is important in actually implementing it. So, getting it into our hands is important."

In sharing local stories to bring History and Social Studies to life, Andres, says she had help from the Turtle Mountain - Souris Heritage staff person to provide a tour for her students on a local field trip.

"My students were quite inspired by the geo-caching projects that she had done and so we decided to mimic her project to make our own geo-caching project. So, that involved doing a lot of research about something that we were interested in learning more about in our community. We did this by interviewing someone rather than looking it up on the internet so that we could get to the story behind the story on some of these places.”

Andres has high praise for the Turtle Mountain- Souris Heritage Association. “They have very accessible resources and usable resources that are written in an easy to read format for students of that age. So, it was really great to put these things all together.”

Bob Caldwell from Deloraine School, and Bill Warren from Melita School joined Maggie Andres on the stage for the Educator's Panel - "Where Old meets Cool" where teachers use local stories to bring History and Social Studies to life.

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