Students combine to make star blanket as symbol of reconciliation
Students at Bishop Klein Community School have expressed their learning about Treaty education, residential schools in Canada and reconciliation through art. The entire school community presented their works of art to Saskatoon Police Service’s Centre for Children’s Justice at an event on March 14 at the school.
For several weeks, students in 12 classes painted a star that will each become part of a larger mural depicting a star blanket. The star blanket represents the eternal protection, support, comfort and love of the Creator’s eye.
“This star blanket mural symbolizes the beginning of a new day where Indigenous and non-Indigenous people start walking on a path that has mutual respect for one another,” said Jamie Arcand, the Aboriginal Student Achievement Coordinator who spearheaded the project.
“The mural becomes an act of remembrance, an act of continuing our ability to talk and heal from our histories, and learning to do the right thing,” said Arcand. “We hope it will comfort children when they are at the Centre with its vibrant colours and its feeling of a cozy quilt.”
“We are honoured to have the students at Bishop Klein School recognize the work that is done at the Centre for Children’s Justice,” said Saskatoon Police Chief Troy Cooper. “They are now our partners in healing, and their contribution will help us build a safe, healthy and respectful community.”
Cooper, a native of Big River, is of Métis descent himself. He told students and adults in attendance how he wished the sorts of learning at Bishop Klein were available when he attended school.
The Chief added that this sort of open, honest dialogue and learning about Canada’s past is a significant positive development that he is confident will ultimately lead to a brighter future for the community.
The mural will be installed at the entrance of the Centre for Children’s Justice at a later date.