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Climate Change

At a recent meeting, Sister Mary Corbett, CND, guest presenter, using Laudato Sí’ as a framework, explored some critical issues around climate change. While exploring the contamination and evaporation of water, Mary strongly emphasized that access to life-giving water is an essential right for all life forms. She stated that the hydrological cycle (water cycle) of the planet is a closed cycle. There is not a limitless supply of water. “Our present levels of water pollution, stated Mary,” “harm the hydrological system, are unsustainable and put all life forms on the planet in peril.” Several times throughout her presentation, Mary asked: “What are we leaving for the next generations to come and for all life forms?” Moving from this painful reality into a more contemplative mode, Mary presented some magnificent pictures of the Earth taken from Space. She also shared the Astronauts’ profound statements about their experience of viewing Earth from Space.

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The St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Math Contest

Mathematics is the language of the universe. It is then fitting that, as we celebrate the 400th anniversary of our foundress Marguerite Bourgeoys, we joined with the grade five and six students of the Catholic School board of Kingston for their first math contest. Mr. Henry Santos, a passionate math teacher, and former student of the CNDs, contacted us asking if our 400th celebration and their contest might link-up. He wanted the Kingston sisters to name the contest, and to choose a name and design for the new trophy that would be passed on to the winning school each year. There was much enthusiastic discussion around these topics until we came to the consensus of “The St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Math Contest,” and “St. Marguerite Bourgeoys trophy,” with the design of the official picture we received of Marguerite.

 

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National Indigenous People’s Day

Today, June 21, is National Indigenous People’s Day, a day to learn more about the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Metis Indigenous peoples of Canada. Current terminology can assist our understanding and respectful dialogue.

– First Nations is a term that came into common use in the 70’s as an alternative to the outdated term Indian. It refers to people who have official status under the Indian Act of Canada, as well as persons without status who identify as belonging to a First Nation. First Nations have specific names we can learn to use.

– Inuit means people in the Inuktitut language and is used to refer to Indigenous people who live in the Arctic regions of Canada. The term Eskimo is no longer used and may be considered as offensive.

– Metis refers to people of mixed ancestry who have developed their own traditions, cultures and languages distinct from those of their Indigenous and European ancestors. The term should be used only to refer to people who self-identify as Metis.

It helps to move away from using old terms, like Indian or native as these words evoke Canada’s colonial past. Indigenous peoples now have the opportunity to choose the terms used to identify them.

 

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