‘In your face’ history

High school students at St. Francis School in Slave Lake learned some disturbing history last week when a touring presentation on the man-made famine in Ukraine in the 1930s paid a visit. Social Studies teacher Evan Mellsen says learning about genocide fits in well with the Social curriculum. The Ukrainian term for the famine and millions of deaths that resulted is ‘Holodomor.’
The visit is part of what’s called the National Holodomor Awareness Tour, presented by the Canada-Ukraine Foundation. Mellsen says students “were guided through this genocide by two very knowlegeable individuals, and interactive iPads that worked seamlessly with a massive interactive display board (the size of the bus). Although graphic in nature, students talked (and continue to talk) about not only the events, but how could we as a western society let it happen. This opened the door to talk about where it’s happening today, and why. Horror is a good way to describe the students’ reaction, but I would also have to say that the inquisitive part of their mind was stimulated like no classroom lecture can do.”


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