Je Me Souviens collaboration announced

The JMS logo is intended to incorporate the major elements of Quebec society found in 1914, with the Fleur-de-lys predominant as the unifying symbol. The project name “Je Me Souviens” is also the provincial motto and emphasizes the JMS mission of helping students learn their history. The Scottish thistle, Irish shamrock, and Canadian maple leaf represent the major non-francophone populations, and run in reverse order on each side of the Fleur-de-lys in order to not favour any one group.

Westmount, Quebec – 01 September 2018: The Royal Montreal Regiment (RMR) Foundation is pleased to announce that their “Great War Education Program” has been expanded greatly and is officially renamed “Je Me Souviens” as part of a collaboration with Canada Company and le Royal 22ieme Regiment (R22eR). 

Canada Company is a charitable, non-partisan organization that serves to build the bridge between business and community leaders and the Canadian Military. Their goal is to ensure that the men and women in our Canadian Armed Forces receive the widest support, care and recognition that they deserve. One of their mandates is to develop educational initiatives surrounding the military and their mission, and they have partnered with the RMR and the R22eR to deliver the Je Me Souviens (JMS) project.

The Je Me Souviens project was created to help students have a greater knowledge of Quebec’s & Canada’s role in military conflicts throughout the last 100+ years, in order to understand and appreciate the long-term impacts of war felt through all facets of our peaceful society. Using first-hand examples from two storied Quebec infantry regiments (RMR & R22eR) that represent all Quebecers, the program is aimed at students in the second cycle of secondary School (Sec IV) and was created to complement the new Quebec Ministry of Education curriculum. It is expected that both students and teachers across Canada will find the material of use.

Where did the idea come from? Concerned that knowledge of the tremendous efforts & sacrifices made by Canadians – as well as the colossal social, medical, and technological advances brought about by the war – would fade into the mists of history once the centenary commemorations of the First World War wrapped up in 2018, the RMR Foundation began working with local educators in 2015 to develop an educational program for Quebec high school students. Launching what was initially known as the “Great War Education Project” (GWEP) in 2017 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge and to gauge interest levels, the initial GWEP exhibition was seen by 4,000+ local Montreal students in the month of April 2017 alone. Montreal area schools soon began incorporating the modules into their teaching practices and the idea of expanding across Quebec in a partnership with Canada Company and R22eR began to crystallise. 

What does the material consist of? With a secure login, Quebec educators can access turnkey materials that include teacher guides, student guides, accompanying presentations, videos, links to supplementary resources, etc. that were designed to complement the new Quebec history curriculum and provide cross-curricular competencies. Beginning with the First World War, students research, analyze, create and present their findings to their peers in the form of timelines, posters, soldier profiles, letters, poems, videos and personal reflections in both print and digital formats. This project is currently divided into five independent modules, each focusing on a specific theme, which aims to allow students to have a greater understanding of the individual contributions of ordinary soldiers and nurses. There is no requirement to use all of the materials provided – teachers are free to pick & choose what suits them best. All materials are provided online for free and all this material is available in both French and English.  

Who produced the educational material? The modules were developed by Chantal Clabrough (M.A.), Senior Social Sciences teacher at Westmount High School in the English Montreal School Board (EMSB), with the original historical content support provided by the RMR Museum and subsequently modified by Nikola Poulin with the help of the R22eR Museum to incorporate R22eR-specific narratives & examples. A pedagogical review was provided by Tino Bordonaro (M.A) Social Sciences consultant at the EMSB. 

What’s next? New content will be delivered over the next five years to round out the entire curriculum: World War 2, Korea, Peacekeeping, NATO, Afghanistan, etc. The latest module focusing on the often overlooked role of Canadian women played in war as nurses (with accompanying online research materials, travelling exhibition, and replica nurse uniforms) is being prepared for release in the autumn of 2018.

Additionally, through two military museums in Quebec City and Montreal, there are extra materials & resources available to supplement the online materials, including replica uniforms & equipment, workshops, guest speakers, artefacts, museum tours, travelling exhibitions, etc.

The RMR Foundation is proud to have been able to plant the seed for what is growing into a mighty tree of knowledge!

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