Students from Macdonald and the Aboriginal Focus School match wits with Thomas Berger

Aboriginal Focus School
Justice Berger speaks with Aboriginal students.

Seventy students from Macdonald School had a chance to match wits with esteemed land claims lawyer Thomas Berger Friday afternoon, when he paid a visit to Vancouver's only Aboriginal Focus School. 

The school is hosting Inquiry, a "hands-on history" exhibition that explores the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry in the 1970s. The Inquiry was chaired by Berger when he was a Judge in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. His final report recommended a moratorium in pipeline construction so that aboriginal land claims could be settled.

The students have been using the Inquiry exhibition to compare the proposed pipeline down the MacKenzie Valley with the current Kinder-Morgan pipeline proposal, which would bring oil from northern Alberta to Vancouver. 

Students have mapped the impacts that each of the pipelines would have on water and wildlife. They have also built a number of skill-testing games that they will try on Berger during his visit. 

"Students are learning about the important role that aboriginal leaders played in these historic events." says Vonnie Hutchingson, principal at MacDonald School. "By designing exhibits and games, they are developing a strong sense of their own leadership capabilities." 

After the exhibition completes its run at MacDonald School, it will go on tour to ten cities across southern Canada.

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