By Prema Kapoor
From September 28 to the 30th, the Social Justice SHSM travelled to Winnipeg, Manitoba to learn more about Social Justice issues in both Canada and around the world. While the trip started off on a rather frigid note, with it snow as soon as we arrived, it was an amazing trip overall.
During the first day of arrival, we had some time to go shopping before leaving to visit the Manitoba Legislative Building. Our tour guide, Vanessa, was very passionate and engaging with the group, providing us with mini stories about each ‘history’ lesson we went through. Not only was she an amazing guide, but she was able to let us meet the Sergeant-at-arms of Manitoba. He was kind and funny, sharing stories about different experiences he’s had at the Legislature and in meetings. We were able to see the gold mace that he would have the chance to carry once a year. We also had the chance to see a tapestry an Indigenous tribe created for Winnipeg, following the signing of a treaty centuries ago.
After we left, we learned about the history of the legislature regarding women and Indigenous peoples. On the walls, there were many memorials for all of the women who made an impact on the province, including Canada’s most popular suffragette, Nellie McClung. The tour guide also showed us the intricate design behind the legislative building, which is inspired by Ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian buildings.
Pictured is a monument depicting Major General James Wolfe. He led the British Forces and died during the Battle of Abraham in taking Quebec.
Once we left the Legislative Building, a tour bus picked us up to take us around important spots in Winnipeg’s history. The tour guides were a lovely couple who had been married for some time. They showed us around the beautiful city, and while we learned a lot, I believe I can talk on behalf of everyone, the best part of the trip was when we saw three deer, and later some reindeer.
On the 29th, the group went to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights where we were able to learn and look deeper into different cases of genocide and human rights infringement around the world. While was the facility high tech and extremely informative, it was also engaging, which made it easy for guests to want to learn. After the When Rights Are Denied seminar, an Indigenous woman taught us about her culture and traditions that she’s carried on. While we were able to see how much Canada has progressed regarding their tolerance towards Indigenous tribes, we also saw how much work we as a country has to do to make Canada a more accepting nation.
Later on that evening, we went to the Lights of the North Lantern Festival, held at the Red River Exhibition Park. Although we weren’t able to actually see the fireworks performance, we were able to catch a glimpse of the 3D light and water projection show. The festival was extremely fantastic, and some students – and teachers even had the chance to go down a giant slide. While we couldn’t stay for the full festival due to the cold weather, it was an unforgettable night and trip. The SHSM students can’t wait for another fun and exciting trip!
Lights of the North festival