Student art teaches values of ancient indigenous teachings
by Sandy Lindsay


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The Artists who created 'Wisdom'
Mya Falesy, Shawna Charlebois, Madison David, Zoe Shave, Serena Treflord-Ladd, Harmony Ransom, Emma Roote (Seated L-R) Aiden Sky, Dante Wrightson and Maddy Sheehan

Continuing the 'seven grandfather teachings', student artists of G. C. Huston Public School in Southampton unveiled their latest work on Thursday, February 2nd ... 'Wisdom/Nbwaakaawin'.

The creation is the third classroom door that has been created, each illustrating an indigenous life value teaching. 

The first two works of art were centred on 'Respect/Minaadendmowin' and 'Bravery/Aakdehewin'.

The doors open onto classrooms where the students of the calss have added their finger/thumb prints to each work to personalize and have their own value added to the project.

The next two doors already in the process of being created centre around 'Love/Zaagidwin'.  Each project is kept secret until the dramatic unveiling before the entire school body at a 'spirit assembly'.

The concept of the door of 'Wisdom' was a result of student Hayden Johnson and Principal Dan Russell having a discussion on the meaning of wisdom.  What came out of the discussion was that 'wisdom' includes, knowing when to ask for help.  Hayden Johnson felt that the Northern Lights represent the 'heaven's watching over those on earth.  The result was the door of 'wisdom' with the industrious beaver delicately underlying the Northern Lights.

Students from three grades were then asked to explain what 'wisdom' meant to them.  The ideas were wide ranging and personal.

Students read their own meanings of 'Wisdom'

Click the orange arrow to read the second column

The Seven Grandfather teachings
(L) Ojibway teacher Marilyn Root and teacher Enid Johnston

"Eventually, all our classroom doors will be works of art created entirely by the students," says Principal Dan Rusell.  "They will lead visitors and students along the 'Good Path', another ancient indigenous teaching where everyone is encouraged to walk the 'good path' through life.  We are also going to host a spring 'art cafe' where each student in the school will display a work of their own art and that will be open to the community."

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Monday, February 06, 2017