Students present mural to police to honour residential school survivors

Students at Bishop Klein School presented a blanket mural to the Saskatoon police in a gesture of reconciliation. Angie Mellen / Global News

Students at Bishop Klein School presented a blanket mural to the Saskatoon Police Service in a gesture of reconciliation and to honour residential school survivors.

The mural featured stars painted over several weeks by students in 12 classes from pre-kindergarten to Grade 8 that became part of the larger mural. It was part of the students learning about treaties, residential schools and reconciliation.

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“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,” Aboriginal Student Achievement coordinator Jamie Arcand said in a press release.

“We’re here to learn about our First Nations, Indigenous people and by doing that we are addressing our histories as either white settlers or Indigenous people and by doing that we’re not closing the chapter but opening areas where we can actually create dialogue,” Aboriginal Student Achievement coordinator Jordan Raymond said.

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The mural was given to the police service’s Centre for Children’s Justice and Victim Services.

“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. We hope it will comfort children when they are at the centre with its vibrant colours and its feeling of a cozy quilt,” Arcand said.

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“For us, it was a really special honour, it’s meant to comfort those around it. For us, to hang it in the children’s centre, it sort of signifies the students desire to help heal the community and to comfort the community,” police Chief Troy Cooper said.

“I think it describes the efforts education has made to advance the actual, real history of Canada and incorporate that into the agenda they have throughout the year. It shows that the students we heard today, they actually understand the region and I think that’s a really important part of health and the healing the community needs to do.”

The mural will be installed at the entrance of the Centre for Children’s Justice at a later date.


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