TA Students Imagine a Better Canada

TA Students Imagine a Better Canada
Posted on 06/06/2023
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Imagine a Canada photo of a TA student dancing in front of a teepee

Students at St. Thomas Aquinas High School took time to imagine a better and more inclusive Canada last week spending their lunch hours exploring First Nation artwork, beading, dancing, drumming and more. The initiative was part of Imagine a Canada Week after three students successfully applied for a grant from the Truth and Reconciliation Council of Canada and the University of Winnipeg.

“Doing this makes me feel more connected to my friends and my culture. I’m a third generation residential school survivor so it’s impactful because of the harm done,” said one of the three student organizers, Tatyana Sandy-Kasprick.

Sandy-Kasprick alongside Emily Pencoff and Harmony Osborne Redsky applied for the grant back in the fall from the National Truth and Reconciliation Council of Canada and the University of Winnipeg.

“We applied for the grant to create a week showcasing Indigenous culture to teach people in our school community different things that they can partake in. The only thing we knew at the beginning was that we would have artwork,” said Osborne Redsky.

After they found out they were successful, the students alongside teacher Nancy Barclay began meeting to plan the week. They decided to have a different aspect of Indigenous culture shared with TA students each day. Monday the tipi was built and there was painting as well as beading with local beaders Marion Prince, Amy Skead & Melissa Skead. Tuesday there was a dance demonstration by TA student volunteers. Wednesday wild rice soup and Bannock were served to the entire school and classes were invited to walk the Rotary Trail where images and wording about Residential schools was hung up on trees. The route ended at the Cecilia Jeffery Indian Residential School Memorial. On Thursday students were invited to join drummers Jerry and Billy.

“It’s important to share the culture with everyone, majority of students are not Indigenous so it’s nice to share the culture, especially in Kenora with all the surrounding FN communities. That way when they’re older they can have a base knowledge and embrace the culture more,” said Pencoff.

Overall, the three students were happy with how the week went and agreed it was great to see the community participation alongside the student participation throughout. 

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