Education and Community Building

Notre Dame High School fosters reconciliation through student exchange

Notre Dame High School, a school within the Ottawa Catholic School Board, is dedicated to blending tradition, culture and learning with Christian living.

Embracing a mission that encourages spiritual growth and societal transformation, the school incorporates teachings on reconciliation and decolonization through a Catholic lens into its curriculum.

To support this mission, Notre Dame High School will be hosting a group of Dene students from Deh Gáh Secondary School in Fort Providence, NWT. This exchange program seeks to grow the knowledge and awareness of Ottawa students about Indigenous histories, cultures and perspectives. The week-long exchange promises diverse learning opportunities, including discussions, on-the-land activities, traditional crafts, drumming and dancing, sports and recreational activities.

Funding from the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund will cover meals for the students and honorariums for Knowledge Keepers, Storytellers, and Artists, who will enrich the program with their contributions.

This exchange program will be as a unique opportunity for students to learn about each other’s cultures and traditions, fostering mutual understanding and pride. 

In 2022, ten students from Notre Dame High School experienced a transformative trip to Fort Providence, describing it as one of the most meaningful experiences in high school. The students remain connected with the Dene youth they met. The positive effects of this exchange continue to expand, with the deep commitment to reconciliation resonating not only among the students but also within the Ottawa community, including supportive parents eager to contribute to this year’s exchange. 

Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall