Program for Youth Tackles the Challenges of Reconciliation

Program for Youth Tackles the Challenges of Reconciliation

The University of King’s College is preparing for its 2nd annual session of Humanities for Young People (HYP). HYP is a live-in summer program that will give students a taste of university life, and encourage their interests in literature, philosophy, history, politics, and art.

The theme for HYP 2017 is timely: The Challenges of Reconciliation. Canada’s 150th birthday offers the unique opportunity to question Canada’s founding myths and develop a more nuanced understanding of what it means to be Canadian.

As Senator Murray Sinclair noted during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, “education holds the key to reconciliation.” All levels of education have a crucial role to play in recognizing and fulfilling their obligation to engage with the challenges of reconciliation.

By studying Indigenous and Western cultures together, HYP 2017 participants will develop a more informed understanding of reconciliation, and gain a deeper knowledge of the challenges Canadians face in our own process of reconciliation. Students will read texts ranging from ancient tragedy to portions of the TRC report. They will also participate in practical and cultural workshops.

We will encourage students to grapple with difficult questions: What does it mean to apologize for a historical injustice? How can we create conditions of reconciliation within our communities? How can the Humanities enrich our understanding of reconciliation, and help us answer these critical questions?

HYP will encourage young people to think creatively and collaboratively, to engage with perspectives other than their own, and to allow these perspectives to enlarge their experience of the world. “While having fun and getting a great pre-university experience,” says President William Lahey, “this year’s HYPsters will tackle the issue of reconciliation and experience the importance of the humanities, journalism and the arts to the biggest questions facing the world.”

HYP 2017 will culminate in a public symposium, Education and Reconciliation, at Halifax’s acclaimed new Central Library. We are delighted that Charlene Bearhead, current project coordinator for the Alberta Joint Commitment to Action: Education for Reconciliation, and co-chair of the Downie-Wenjack Fund Board of Directors, will be our keynote speaker at that event.

HYP runs from July 7-16th, 2017. Students ages 14-16 are eligible and can apply online, with a brief statement of their interest in Reconciliation and a letter of recommendation from an adult who knows them well. The fee, $1,100, includes accommodation, meals, materials, lectures, and excursions. Bursaries will be available to students with financial need, and we also have a number of full scholarships available to Indigenous students. The deadline for applications is June 1, 2017.

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