Indigenous Education at Byng
Red Cedar Heartwood River Project
In an assembly in February, Indigenous Cultural Educator Dave Robinson addressed students in all grades and used the metaphor of a river to describe the collective journey travelled by students during their time at school and left them with a powerful message to inspire them. The challenge he gave to the entire community was to create an art piece that would act as a "living contract" to stand up for our shared values and to co-create an art piece that would be "gifted" to the school.
Here is a short synopsis of the project that Dave began with the students:
"With the help of our staff and students the "living contract" will be shaped and refined into a work of art that will be "gifted" to the school and support the school on its journey to embrace our shared values and to bring them to life through our collective actions. The art piece will be a river which students will shape together and define the geography of a Red Cedar Heartwood River. The beautiful Red Cedar Heartwood River will be polished and shine, accentuating the school's history. While the other side which is sapwood will be left raw with signatures of the school community. The raw nature of sapwood will reflect the diversity of others, and together as a community we accept that it is both good and ok to be diverse. The signatures are on the sapwood because it is the sapwood of a living tree that is living, and it is the heartwood of a living tree that Western science classifies as dead wood. It is the heartwood of a tree that records and demonstrates the history of environmental changes throughout its life. This sculpture will be named "Red Cedar Heartwood River"."
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