Burnaby Central Social Studies Dept.

Oh, the places you’ll go...

Black Excellence Day – Friday, January 14, 2022


Black Shirt Day and Black Excellence Day is  January 15th, but will be recognized by students in the Burnaby School District this Friday January 14.  This day is  meant to celebrate the rich contributions of Black people to our society and acknowledge the ongoing civil rights struggle and racism that Black and racialized people face.

Black Excellence Day was created by the Ninandotoo Society and the date was chosen in honour of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday which was January 15, 1929.

Staff and students are encouraged to wear black on this day!

Student Vote – Federal Election 2021

Express Entry Q2 2021: Canada breaks another record

Hello Wildcats!

With the upcoming 2021 Federal Election, this is the perfect opportunity for you to experience the democratic process first hand and practice the habits of being an informed and engaged citizen! Your voice matters!

This year, some of the key issues being discussed in the various party platforms include affordability, climate change, and Reconciliation. We as Canadians need to ensure that our voices are heard and there is no better platform to communicate this than by voting.  Let’s work together and create a positive change in Canada!

This year’s Student Vote at Burnaby Central will be in person with paper ballots.  Voting will take place on Monday, September 20th, during Period 2.

Click on the Student Vote 2021 tab above this page to learn more about the Federal Election candidates and the party platforms.

For the 215 children found in a mass grave at the former Tk’emlups Indian Residential School in BC, and for those yet to be found…

No photo description available.

When they buried the children

what they didn’t know,

they were lovingly embraced

by the Land;

Held and cradled in a mother’s heart

The trees wept for them, with the wind

they sang mourning songs their mother’s didn’t know to sing

bending branches to touch the earth

around them.  The Creator cried for them,

the tears falling like rain.


Mother Earth held them

until they could be found.

Now our voices sing the mourning songs.

With the Trees.  The Wind.  Light sacred fire.

Ensure they are never forgotten as we sing



~Abigail Echo-Hawk.


Gitxsan artist, Michelle Stoney, has designed a feather to honour and remember the 215 children found on the grounds of the former Tk’emlups Indian Residential School.

Michelle describes the significance of the feather and why she designed it the way she did as follows:

First of all, the feather represents so much in our culture.  Maybe too much to even explain, so I’ll just say what it means to me….To me, it means strength and healing.  We really value the feather and it means so much to us.  I know we use it for smudging, and to me that represents cleansing.

Inside the feather is the spirit of the 215 children.  The face on the bottom is not an animal.  That is how I draw people, and I wanted to make long flowing hair, that they (the children) were forced to cut.

And there is also a hand on top, kind of referencing the hand design I did last year. 

But really, this can mean something [different] to someone else.  I don’t want to force people what to think.  I just like it when people connect in their own way….


N’we Jinan Artists – “WE WON’T FORGET YOU”

Sk’elep School of Excellence, B.C.

Song written, recorded and filmed with students from Sk’elep School of Excellence in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, Kamloops, British Columbia.


The THIS IS US: STORIES IN STILL PHOTOS exhibit officially opened Tuesday, May 11th, and will run until Friday, May 14th, at Burnaby Central.  The theme of this exhibition was inspired by the stories that artifact tell, and with the intention of showcasing our shared and common humanity.  Artifacts exist all around us and play a vital part in our living history.  Students and staff at Burnaby Central were invited to photograph an artifact and to tell its story while considering the following:  What memories of our cultural and family heritage exist within the objects of our lives?  How does an artifact transcend time, revealing our collective memory?  All of the submissions are deeply powerful and moving!  Thank you all for your labours of love and being an essential piece towards bringing our shared humanity to life!  

I would also like to give a big and warm thank you to all the teacher sponsors including Mr. Steko, Mrs. Morabito, Mr. Katsionis, Ms. Uhren and who helped make this exhibit possible…so thank you!!!

A few highlights from the exhibition…


The contest is inspired by the stories that artifacts tell.  Artifacts, a vital part of our living history, exist all around us. Students at Burnaby Central are invited to photograph an artifact and tell its story.  What memories of your cultural and family heritage exist within the objects of our lives? How does an artifact reveal these heartfelt and insightful stories?  How does an artifact transcend time, revealing our collective memory?

To check out the contest details, please go to the THIS IS US tab on the SS webpage.


Teacher Sponsors

Ms. Pereira, Mr. Steko, Mrs. Morabito, Mr. Katsionis, Ms. Uhren, & Kwakwee Baker

Lifting Black Voices Youth Conference – Feb. 17th, 2021


In celebration of the 25th year of Black History Month in Canada, a number of Metro Vancouver School Districts (Burnaby, Vancouver, Surrey, Maple Ridge, Coquitlam) participated in the Lifting Black Voices Youth Conference.  This was a unique opportunity to see an official address by the Honourable Jean Augustine, who is the first Black woman to be elected as a Member of Parliament.  Augustine is also responsible for securing unanimous legislative support for Black History Month in Canada.   We heard from the keynote speaker Kamika Williams, who is the chair person for the Anti-Racism Coalition of Vancouver and the organizer for the Black-Shirt Day initiative this year.  Williams stressed the importance of representation, particularly in schools, as a way to dismantle racism, microaggressions, and harmful stereotypes.   Representation plays a pivotal role in fostering safe spaces where all people can feel connected and valued.  Cecily Nicholson and Khari McClelland are both activists, organizers, and spoken word artists who gifted us with a greater understanding of the experiences of Black Canadians and Black people around the world through poetry and song.  The conference culminated with an extraordinary student panel who courageously spoke of their experiences as Black Canadians and Black students in the public education system.

A big thank you to Beth Applewhite and Kenneth Headley for facilitating such an memorable, moving, and inspiring event!

In the words of Kamika Williams: “See Something.  Say something. Do something.  No movement is too small!”

Happy Lunar New Year! We welcome the year of the Ox!

Image result for lunar new year information 2021 kids

Happy Lunar New Year!

February 12, 2021

This new year celebration is also called Lunar New Year and celebrated also as Spring Festival.  Lunar New Year,  celebrated in January or February, is an important public holiday for many countries including China, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

May the year ahead bring your family, friends and community, the steadying strength and perseverance of the Ox!

Please see the Lunar New Year tab on our Social Studies web page to explore some interesting facts about how this celebration is observed around the world!



Black History Month

Click on the image to be directed to Central’s Black History Month website

During Black History Month, Canadians celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation it is today. Throughout February, the Burnaby Central community aims to increase community awareness about the contributions of Black Canadians and to foster an understanding of the history of Canada as the history of Black Canadian experiences.  We strive to encourage a critical understanding of the challenges Black Canadians have faced, and continue to encounter, and lay the foundation for the necessary conversations around how these challenges are a reflection of a larger social prejudice in Canadian society.  While February has been recognized as the national month  honouring Black Canadian History, these efforts to raise awareness and to nurture critical dialogue, must not be restricted to the month of February, but rather be a responsibility that we embrace and carry out every single day.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2016 | IHRA

January 27th, 2021

Today commemorates the tragedy of the Holocaust that occurred during the Second World War. The Holocaust  refers to the Nazi’s mass persecution and planned slaughter of the Jewish people and other minorities.

It began in 1933 when Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany and ended in 1945 when the Nazis were defeated by the Allied powers. The three allied powers were Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union.

After the surrender, Allied forces discovered concentration camps like Auschwitz, and were horrified to see the prisoners of war.

Many holocaust victims were ultimately displaced and had no place to call home, which also saw the establishment of Israel in 1949.

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