It was a great turnout for the Annual Assembly for the Turtle Mountain-Souris Plains Association in Deloraine last Thursday. Local speakers and those from out of the region took to the podium sharing the many different ways of sharing the tales of old.
Ken Storie is a member with the Association. He says they were thrilled with the amount of people that attended this year's event. "I think we had a great line-up of speakers this year with something for everyone. Having a name like Gordon Goldsborough really helps. But, I think the whole package was attractive this year."
Professor and author, Gordon Goldsborough, shared his new book, 'Abandoned Homesteads', which depicted a photo journey through the changing Manitoba landscapes. Goldsborough is well-known throughout Manitoba for his passion of the prairie landscape.
Connecting schools with local historians is now a big push for the Association. "I think it's the future for this group," says Storie. "We've spent many, many years producing material and that's been fun. But, getting into schools and finding more ways of getting more people to access those materials .. I think we're at the start of that now."
Storie says a great example of bringing the material to the classroom is what Maggie Andres is doing with her students.
"The presentation that Maggie gave about what she's doing in Minto School, and the fact that she's garnished some interest from other teachers and administrators, I think that's really important. I think things like that can spread."
Storie agrees there is a desire to get more local content in the curriculum of History and Social Studies. "I only have to go back decades into my experience as a young teacher going to Melita and knowing nothing about the area. So, right off the bat, even if I wanted to include more local history in my courses, it's a steep hill."
"So, our goal so far is to give them the materials," adds Storie, "but we have to go past that. We have to give them the materials and help them get that ball rolling."
The Association is looking more at the tool of video production to tell the story with the help of David Neufeld. Neufeld has followed the lives of 4 people with different backgrounds and have documented their connection to the land.
The mission of the Association is simply to tell stories. "There are so many great stories that connect us to the rest of the world. And, what we learned today from those involved in the classroom, that as soon as young people hear a story that is connected to them, and not necessarily in BC or in Ottawa, they're much more likely to grab that story and internalize it. Now, we want more to help other people to tell those stories, and then blend it into the classroom curriculum."