Regina high school organizes week-long reconciliation conference
- Brad Bellegarde
What started as an idea three years ago with just a few students and a couple teachers has grown to be a powerhouse of reconciliation implementation.
Regina high school, Campbell Collegiate, was the central location for what the school’s Campbell Reconciliation Committee deemed, “Celebration Week”.
Denee Repski, teacher and education leader, said the entire experience was something that she’s wanted to do for a long time.
“We knew that we needed to something...with Truth and Reconciliation,” said Denee Repski, teacher, Campbell Collegiate. “It doesn’t typically happen in Campbell, just having these little moments of, Aha! was just beautiful.”
According to Repski, students who participated in the Cree language workshop were practicing in the library even after it was finished.
Speakers throughout the week included Terrance Littletent, Mother Teresa middle school drum and dance troupe, Buffalo Boys, Peter Turner, Jeff Cappo and Chief Cadmus Delorme.
“Campbell Collegiate is a school that is proactive,” said Delorme, chief, Cowessess First Nation. “The (students) were polite, they listened to the stories. I could see that they were understanding there is a true story (about First Nations) out there,” he said.
The student-led week of guest speakers and workshops was an important step towards building relationships said grade 11 student and Campbell Reconciliation Committee member Merah Gasmo.
“My take away was seeing how much the students could get involved,” said Gasmo.
“We learn about residential schools but we wanted to go beyond that and learn about personal experiences,” she said. “We want to continue to build relationships with members of the community, with other high schools...and make sure everyone within our community and school is on their journey to reconciliation.”
According to both the Gasmo and Repski, this is just the beginning of something that students and teachers want to see grow into a perfect example of working together towards implementing some of the Truth and Reconciliations calls to action.
The Campbell Collegiate Reconciliation Committee will be hosting more events in the new year with the hopes of including more community members from all areas of Regina, Sask.