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Dream catcher a step in right direction

By June 1, 2022No Comments
École St. Thomas vice principal, Anthony Bender, permanently raises a dream catcher in the school’s foyer on Tuesday morning as the school takes more steps toward truth and reconciliation.Taylor Weaver Meridian Source

 

École St. Thomas took another step towards truth and reconciliation on Tuesday morning as a dream catcher was permanently raised in the school’s foyer.

“This is important because our students are so curious about what happened. There’s been a lack of teaching in certain age groups, so this is very new to some of them,” said Lloydminster Catholic School Division’s (LCSD) Aboriginal Program Coordinator Cynthia Young. 

“It’s important we teach the truth and guide them the right way because they have a lot of questions. We have to be nurturing with that curiosity.”

Young explained how, since last December, she has spent time in every single one of St. Thomas’ classrooms to teach students about dream catchers, the path to reconciliation, what happened, and what can be done to move forward.

“My daughter asked me what a dream catcher is for and I told her it was to remember all the kids that didn’t come home from residential schools,” said Young. 

“It’s very important for us to keep our culture going because we’re at a pivotal point where we have to rejuvenate it; we’re starting to lose it. Our elders are our libraries and we’re already starting to lose those things.”

Seb McCarthy, a Grade 7 student at St. Thomas, had the honour of gifting the elders and drummers in attendance with tobacco, a tradition he learned from Young’s husband, Mike.

“I helped make the dream catcher and I’ve been working with the Young family for a few years now. We always do activities together and her husband tries to teach me,” he said.

“It’s better if we learn (about this stuff) at a young age.

LCSD Director of Education, Nigel McCarthy, was pleased to see more steps being taken toward truth and reconciliation and is looking forward to more in the future.

“For me, it’s a physical reminder of what we’ve been tasked to do in both Alberta and Saskatchewan in terms of the educational agenda for the next 10 years,” said McCarthy. 

“I know our board of trustees and staff have been working for many years on truth and reconciliation and opportunities for our creative Metis students.

“I think our city is at the leading edge of some of those changes, and the work that’s been done here is a great foundation for the future of our students.”