Healing through art

Photo courtesy of University of Manitoba

Students visit Regina after submitting drawings for reconciliation initiative

If art is the highest form of hope, Saskatchewan’s children are taking it one step further.

Ten young people from across the province were honoured for their efforts May 12 after participating in the Imagine A Canada initiative that saw them create art to further reconciliation and reflect what they want to see for the future of the country. They gathered at Government House in Regina where they also met representatives from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) and Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield.

“Imagine A Canada is a relatively new initiative from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation,” Vivian Gauvin, Prairie South School Division First Nations and Metis consultant told the Times-Herald. “The hope is overtime, teachers and students and community members will become familiar with it and it’s importance.”

Gauvin said the seven students from Prairie South who attended spoke well and from the heart when they presented their work. Grade 1 student at Palliser Heights School Celeste Bayly said her picture featured a neighbourhood with people racing, birds, and one person helping a bird that was covered in oil.

“It’s showing people being nice,” she said. “I did it because it would look nice.”

Gauvin said the students enjoyed their time in the historic building, including the luncheon with the Lieutenant Governor.

“She’s a hugger,” Gauvin said, adding that she was also very gracious.

Gauvin said the initiative was in part to help people understand the outcomes of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and create awareness for our moral obligation to honour and act on the 94 calls to action in the final report, released in June 2015.

“The students each shared their vision of what their Canada should be,” she said. “It’s about building relations, reconciling for a healthier society.”