Last week students at Alouette Elementary learned about the Senate of Canada – from an actual senator.
Senator Yonah Martin, a former BC teacher, visited the Maple Ridge school to give a presentation to a pair of Grade 5/6 classes.
Martin, the first Canadian senator of Korean descent and the first Korean-Canadian to serve in parliament in the country’s history, gave an overview of what life is like for a senator in Ottawa.
“She gave examples of her own work as a senator; in particular, her work in organizing the Imjin Classic hockey tournament that commemorates the ice hockey played by Canadian soldiers during the Korean War,” said teacher Nancy Rupert.
Rupert said the students expressed their gratitude that the BC senator made time to talk to them and help them learn more about the Canadian system of government.
“Some of my students were quite taken with Sen. Martin’s Asian roots which are like their own. I think they were also quite interested in the fact that she had once been a teacher.”
In November 2018, Rupert attended the Teachers’ Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy. While there, she met Senator Martin – who gave her a business card – and met a team that works on behalf of the Senate and arranges school visits.
“Shortly after the trip, they contacted me and asked if I wanted to book a visit with a BC senator, and I requested Sen. Martin,” said Rupert.
All the students who attended Sen. Martin’s presentation are currently studying Canadian government.
“I hope they will all become engaged citizens as they grow older and participate actively in democracy,” Rupert said.