Last Friday at the Catholic Education Centre we hosted a Gala Red Carpet Night to celebrate the LDCSB Grand Confederacy Council. The Council is made up of Indigenous students from our nine high schools. It is through the voices of our Indigenous students that we are learning from each other about each other. The highlight of Friday evening’s celebration was the unveiling of the “We are Indigenous” posters of our students. As the posters were unveiled, the pride of the students, their family and friends was so very evident.
As I shared Friday evening in my introductory comments, as I continue to learn more about the traditions and values of Indigenous cultures, I personally have been moved by the profound respect Indigenous people show to Nature and the profound respect they demonstrate to their elders. We continue to learn from each other!
Thank you to our Indigenous Lead, Tammy Denomme, Superintendent Kathy Furlong, our Indigenous Cultural Teachers Ray John and Adam Sturgeon and to our LDCB staff who gave generously of their time and talent. A very special thank you to the students of the Grand Confederacy Council, their family and friends, to Growing Chefs for the wonderful food and to Ray Garcia for his artistry in the production of these amazing “We are Indigenous” posters.
In terms of the bigger picture, Tammy shared with me the following story from Friday evening. The mother of two of our Grand Confederacy Council students sat me down next to her at the event and told Tammy in a very quiet way, about the horrors her family had experienced through residential schools and the destructive impact it had on their lives. At the end of her talk she said, "And now, look at my boys. They are part of the Grand Confederacy Council and there are these beautiful pictures of them. I never thought this could happen." As Tammy shared with me, “as far as reconciliation work goes, I don't think it gets any better than that.