It is our hope that students will learn about and celebrate the diversity of our community, and the common bonds that unite us through the various faith groups represented here today.  This educational opportunity will provide students and teachers with a greater understanding of the people living in the Halton Region.  By participating in this event we hope that students will move along a path of increasing respect for others, embrace and celebrate our ethnic differences. The Festival’s main purposes are; to increase awareness, improve communication and understanding of our different ethnic groups, move from tolerating differences to accepting and embracing them, and to promote leadership amongst our youth in the community.  A passport will be utilized to serve as a record of information you have gathered from each faith group during the event.  Enjoy learning about all the wonderful ethnic groups living in Halton that makes it such   a wonderful place to live.

Why Faith Groups Should Invest:

The demographics of Halton are changing at a rapid pace. We are now one of the fastest growing populations in Ontario and are becoming very diverse.  Other local municipalities have witnessed struggles with these rapid changes.  What makes Halton different is the level of cooperation and support we have for each other.

Can we improve upon this?

It is our belief that our future is in the hands of our youth. We believe that if culture and faith can be embraced, we can then move from tolerance to acceptance but only if we do it together.  It starts with our ability to work together in unison for the purpose of a peaceful coexistence, respect for our brothers and sisters, and their right to believe. We believe that as long as these beliefs do not intentional harm another, we can build a foundation of understanding and acceptance based on knowledge not fear.

Why Schools Should Invest:

This is a rare opportunity to work with community to build an educational event that is tailor made to your school.  Your staff and students will work with the faith communities   building an interactive education day that will help to dispel myths, provide knowledge about the unique cultures and faiths that make up your community.  It will allow you to develop community contacts to assist with emerging issues or questions.

The planning should include the active participation of youth both in the design and execution of the day. Resources that will be provided by the community will include youth teaching youth where it is possible to do so. 

School Commitment

You need:

  1. Desire to learn about other faith groups living in Halton.
  2. Staff member(s) or a champion to lead the school in the design and delivery of this unique education opportunity. Our experience thus far is that this day can be inter-woven with your existing curriculum involving other departments such as art, social sciences, or religion.
  3. Commitment of youth to participate in the planning process and significantly contributes to the effectiveness of this event. We are focusing on junior high school students in an effort to develop culturally competent leaders.
  4. Development of young leaders early on in secondary high school is a primary goal of the IFC.  Ideally, the younger the better. Most schools will combine older students in the planning. For example, students taking World Religion or similar classes, or school diversity committee.  These are natural areas to seek out students that are enthusiastic and could be utilized to help participate in the development of the day or as part of the curriculum for these students.

Content of the Interfaith Booths –Faith Groups

Faith groups will be prepared with materials and a booth that contains:

  • Principal beliefs
  • History of Religion
  • Religious Events and their significance
  • Describe the Golden Rule according to your faith
  • Describe what respect means according to your faith
  • Describe the custom/religious experience/age that youth embrace your faith “Coming of Age”.
  • Faith Customs and symbols

Current leadership:

Chair, Rabbi Stephen Wise Shaarei-Beth El Synagogue
Rabbi.wise@sbe.ca
905 849 6000
Rev. Morar Murray Hayes Maple Grove United Church
Rev. Darcey Lazerte St. Simons Anglican Church
Pravin Lata Sharma Hindu Vaishnu Devi Temple
A.Q. Mufti Al Falah Mosque
Rev. Dan Phannenhour Lutheran