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A week of celebrations
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A week of celebrations

This week is National Volunteer Week. It’s also ECE (Early Childhood Educator) Week, and today just happens to be Administrative Professionals Day.

There’s a common theme here in that these individuals play such an important role in our lives. ECEs help young people grow and learn, and are truly part of the village. Administrative professionals are the glue that keeps every workplace (and the people who work there) moving forward. And volunteers? Well, people who give themselves in the name of helping others and making the world a better place are truly special and deserving of the praise and celebration this week may bring to them.

A HUGE THANK YOU and shoutout to volunteers, ECEs and administrative professionals today and every day!

The sun is shining today, and it kind of feels like spring. I mean, the weather isn’t where many of us hope it would be, but the fact that Mother Nature is striving to reach 8 C is something. I’ll take it.

Some good news this week: The Durham District School Board in Ontario put out a statement today saying it has engaged in conversations with some local Indigenous community members over the last week, and the feedback it received focused on the importance of making books by Indigenous authors available based on choice. The books — The Great Bear by David A. Robertson and two other Forest Reading books — that they removed have been returned to library circulation.

Jen Zoratti recently wrote a piece about David A. Robertson’s books being banned by the school division. I’m glad to see this issue has been resolved. As an Indigenous woman, and as a mother raising an Indigenous daughter, this was an issue I felt deeply about. Representation is so important, and it’s something I wish I had more of growing up…

Cree author David Robertson was recently tipped off about the Durham District School Board’s call to stop using his title, ’The Great Bear’, in its classrooms located in Oshawa and other communities east of Toronto.(Jessica Lee / Winnipeg Free Press)

My eldest daughter recently read The Barren Grounds by David A. Robertson in school. She enjoyed the book and was impressed when I flexed about being ‘Twitter friends’ with Robertson. (Meaning that we don’t know each other in real life but follow one another and have participated in Twitter dialogue in the past.) That might be the coolest thing about me in her eyes. Haha!

Anyhow, I hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy the sunshine that Mother Nature is offering up today.

Shelley Cook

Shelley Cook, Columnist

Shelley Cook

GOOD NEWS THIS WEEK

I am THRILLED to see that Black-Manitoban Chamber of Commerce launch today! Danielle Da Silva wrote about the newly formed network of entrepreneurs and community leaders, led by Zita Somakoko, founding president of the BMCC, that is looking to level the playing field for Black business owners in the province. A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to the BMCC on this launch!

Dr Zita Somakoko is the founder and first president of the Black Manitobans Chamber of Commerce. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press)

John Longhurst wrote about four siblings, Sally Singer, 100, Anne Novak, 99, Sol Fink, 97, and Ruth Zimmer, 95, one of the oldest living groups of Holocaust survivor siblings who have called Winnipeg home for decades and are sharing their stories, via the Last Chance Testimony Collection, part of the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive. We are so lucky the siblings and other survivors have shared their stories.

Siblings Ruth Zimmer (95), Sol Fink (97), Sally Singer (100) and Anne Novak (99) might be the oldest, living Holocaust survivors, and they live in Winnipeg. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press)

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AV Kitching writes about Adam Schwartz, a Winnipeg comedian who has gained praise for his stand-up shows, which focus on the challenges he faces as someone on the autism spectrum. He says, "Doing stand-up comedy has helped me come to terms with my autism. The more I wrote about being awkward the more I have come to terms with it." Read the full story here.

The more than Adam Schwartz has written and performed jokes about his autism, ‘the more I have come to terms with it.’(Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press)

More than a century after the Winnipeg Falcons Hockey Club claimed Olympic gold, the Canadian government has cemented its achievement in national history. Tyler Searle has the full story here.

A commemorative plaque was unveiled Tuesday, during a ceremony at the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, to celebrate the Winnipeg Falcons Hockey Club who were the world’s first Olympic hockey champions in 1920.(Tyler Searle / Winnipeg Free Press)

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