Regina school proud to take steps toward meaningful reconciliation
- EFN Staff | September 30, 2018
A Regina school is taking steps to meaningfully participate in reconciliation and recognize the painful past of residential schools.
Grant Road School, located in the Whitmore Park community, was one of the schools where they held an event along with a Treaty 4 flag raising ceremony and a pipe ceremony that kicked off the day.
Student Breton Boudreau said it’s a great thing knowing his school organizes the yearly Orange Shirt Day event to acknowledge the students who attended residential schools.
“It’s a good way to honour the students who went to residential schools,” he said. “I felt very honoured being one of the students to help raise the Treaty 4 flag, it was a cool experience to hear the drumming as well.”
Grade 8 teacher Greg Korpan and his class of 27 students participated in the Orange Shirt Day event. He said it’s important for his students to learn about Canada’s history with Indigenous peoples.
“I think it starts with understanding the truth of what’s happened in our country,” said Korpan, who added it’s also a step towards reconciliation and a step in the right direction for their school and Regina. “I’m 30 years old and I went to Lakeview School and Sheldon Williams Collegiate, and I can’t remember a single lesson on First Nations people and their culture…so I really take pride and making a strong effort in teaching my students the importance of our shared history.”
Parent Brandy Webb sits on the school’s Indigenous Parents Committee which has helped to organize the Orange Shirt Day and Treaty 4 flag raising event.
“This was the big event that we wanted to put together to honour Treaty 4 and honour the ancestors,” said Webb. “It’s our way of navigating in this community of reconciliation meaningfully. The [school] administration wants to do right by reconciliation…and it feels really good.”
Two years ago, Bob Phillips, the Grant Road School Vice Principal at the time, invited all the parents who self- declared as Indigenous to meet and discuss ways to meet reconciliation, from there the formation of the Indigenous Parents Committee begun. It was a start in recognizing significant days that are designated for Indigenous peoples in Canada such as Orange Shirt Day.