Regina high school students take aim at reconciliation through poetry

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WATCH: Sheldon-Williams Collegiate creative writing students address reconciliation, expressing their thoughts through poetry. – Oct 8, 2019

Students at Sheldon-Williams Collegiate are taking aim at reconciliation, expressing its importance, through poetry.

The school’s creative writing class saw students write poems on their interpretation of Indigenous and non- Indigenous relations.

A line in Grade 11 student Laura Milligan’s poem read “eyes open, but there’s only darkness everywhere swallowing the souls of children.”

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Powerful words, but a simple message.

“We need to take a moment every day and recognize our past and listen deeply to others so we can make our future better. Reconciliation is every day,” another student read.

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“It’s part of everyone’s past, we are all a part of reconciliation so we all need to heal together,” Milligan said.

Spoken word artist Cat Abenstein visits the class once weekly, and said getting the message out there through students goes a long way in strengthening Indigenous culture.

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“As soon as students or anybody understands this at a deeper level when they’re young, they can take this work and go forward in all of their actions and all of their relationships,” Abenstein said.

“It’s totally empowering and inspiring to see youth take these leadership roles and it gives me hope that we can achieve reconciliation.”

Members of the Indigenous community were invited into the classroom, letting students share their message directly to those impacted by colonization.

“It felt important to share to them so they can understand that there are people trying to help and there (are) a lot of non-Indigenous people who are rooting for them,” Milligan said.

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