Merivale High School commemorates lives lost at Fort Alexander Indian Residential School

Teacher Tanya Rafuse’s Grade 12 ‘Challenge and Change’ students chose to commemorate the deaths of the children at the Fort Alexander Indian Residential School in Manitoba. Students applied not only their talent, but their hearts and spirits as they created tiny masterpieces — painted tiles that will one day be offered to former students who were victimized by that IRS. Elder and Indian Residential School survivor, Terry McKay, spoke bluntly about the inter-generational trauma resulting from the Residential school experience that has affected so many communities, yet he also gave voice to the beauty of his people, the contributions to Canada that they made and are making, and the land that he still calls “home” (coastal British Columbia).

Most of Ms. Rafuse’s students chose social justice actions that involved signing petitions and/or writing letters to members of parliament regarding human rights issues: access to clean drinking water, Shannen’s Dream (safe, clean, and comfortable schools), and missing and/or murdered Indigenous women.

Meegwetch to Tanya for a job really well done!

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