BIBLE HILL, N.S. – Bible Hill Junior High students recently took part in a project that combined art, French, history and understanding.
A part of their French class, bout 55 students, working in teams or groups, created projects connected to reconciliation. Red dresses, in memory of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, were hung in the student lounge, where projects were displayed.
“I thought it would be good to learn more about what happened in residential schools so things like that don’t happen again,” said Rebecca Pettipas, who used a box to make a model of a residential school and placed written facts and pictures inside.
“I thought it would be cool to have windows, so people could look inside to see what happened inside the schools.”
Hannah Higgins and Brooke MacDonald made posters, each bearing a photo and information on a missing or murdered woman.
“Some of these women were killed, or went missing, quite a few years ago and the families still haven’t gotten justice,” said MacDonald. “We chose girls close to our own age for this.”
Samantha Van Wart and Jenna Caldwell made a large dreamcatcher.
“There’s a group called Justice for Indigenous Women that made pendants, and we made some of those first, but then decided to make a dreamcatcher, too,” said Van Wart.
Students also made dolls from scraps of fabric and other items they could find, similar to those the children at residential schools made.
Bethan Gray and Kendra McCabe chose to create pictures.
“We had to draw or paint what comes to mind when we hear about residential schools so I have a tree with a figure in the centre,” said Bethan. “The dark part at the bottom of the tree represents life at the schools and the branches with colourful parts represent the paths they can choose.”
Bethan, who moved to Canada from the U.K., said she learned more about the history of the area through the project.
Kendra choose a dreamcatcher as the subject of her artwork.
Because the project was part of a French class, all written parts were done in that language.