The Value of Connection

We had the pleasure of welcoming Maurice Switzer ’63 to Ms. Brown’s Grade 12 AP Literature class on Monday. Maurice is a citizen of the Mississaugas of Alderville First Nation and spent his childhood and school years in the village of Lakefield. His grandparents — Moses Muskrat Marsden and Nellie Orma Franklin — both worked at The Grove in the early 1900s, and the school's Marsden Circles of Indigenous Learning are named in their honour. Maurice lives in North Bay and is participating in Lakefield College School's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion External Working Group.
 
The class launched into a Colonizer and Colonizing unit of study with a focus on dismantling settler colonialism and on-going colonization. Texts of study during this unit are Braiding Sweetgrass, Keeper’N Me and Cottagers and Indians. Students walk with the land and spend much of every class engaging with the land as their teacher during this unit of study. In advance of the discussion, students prepared questions related to the content of Braiding Sweetgrass. Maurice provided rich context about Indigenous land teachings and shared his own personal stories of Indigenous teachings. 

Students discussed important topics such as reconciliation, reciprocity, connecting with nature, and the idea of a gift economy. Threads of this wonderful conversation continue to be woven into subsequent discussions and our students have been asking about when it will be possible to have Maurice join us again. They learned so much from him and they learned so much about one another. We are so grateful for his extensive knowledge, experience, and gentle instruction.
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  • Tony Pullen
    I have many memories of Maurice as a steady, smart and solid presence in our years together at Lakefield. As the Chronicle reports, in his final year, while slight in stature, he Captained the second team football and played first team hockey and quietly kept achieving top marks consistently. In spite of being a day student he thoroughly pitched in to student life in spite of the school being a boarder dominated community. I do not recall, although perhaps I may have known, his indigenous roots. I wish I had, but in those days, I guess I have to take care how I say this now, it didn't matter! It is so great to hear that he is "giving back" in such a meaningful way, to todays students! Great work Maurice!

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4391 County Road 29, Lakefield Ontario K0L 2H0   705.652.3324   admissions@lcs.on.ca

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Lakefield College School is a private, coeducational boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12, located in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada.

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