Regina students make personal connections to TRC
- EFN Staff | May 12, 2017
More than 400 students and 20 teachers from Regina’s Balfour Collegiate worked together to adopt the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) personal ribbon campaign. It’s a project where each student selects a Call to Action they personally connected with and then designed ribbon and cloth projects that were introduced at an event held on Wednesday evening.
Indigenous and non-Indigenous students conducted various performances throughout the evening about why honouring the TRC Calls to Action is important to them.
Grade 12 student Mischa Stonechild from the Peepeekisis First Nation contributed to this project as she felt it was important for her. Stonechild picked Call to Action #76: documenting, maintaining, commemorating, and protecting residential school cemeteries. Her ribbon project has two leaves on it to symbolize the unmarked graves of the residential schools. Stonechild sympathized for those with unmarked graves and wanted to do something to bring awareness to the issue.
“I chose that one because it talks about how there’s burial grave sites…just like the one here on Pinkie Road in Regina, it doesn’t have markings for the children,” she said. “Sadly, the children who passed away in the residential school, they didn’t have that chance of that. They got buried and that’s it.”
Stevenson hopes the ribbon projects will continue the dialogues on residential schools and the TRC Calls to Action.
Rhonda Stevenson, the Indigenous Advocate at Balfour Collegiate, said the school found the inspiration to adopt this project when they came across the Red Ribbon Campaign on the TRC website. Discussions on implementing the Ribbon Project started almost a year ago and the idea was presented to the school in September. The following month, Balfour Collegiate became one of many participants in this project to instill knowledge from the TRC report to students across the nation.
The school turned to Tracey George Heese from the Ochapowace First Nation to explain the TRC Calls to Action and to help them out with this newly introduced initiative.
Students had the opportunity to meet with community elder/life speaker Noel Starblanket, who smudged the ribbon projects and spoke about what reconciliation is.
“We’re having these conversations, we’re acknowledging these truths in our history that have happened here and that we don’t want those things to happen again,” Stevenson said. “Eventually our students are going to be growing up and working in all these different fields and hopefully they’re coming with some background knowledge and can continue this work.”
The ribbon project installations are displayed throughout the school with hopes of recognizing and honouring reconciliation for future generations.