Grade 10 students launch environmental magazine
- Tiffany Head | June 30, 2016
The grade 10 students were in full celebration mode as they held the final product of what they worked so hard on all semester.
The magazine, written and developed entirely by the students from Prairie Valley School Division (PVSD) and adjoining First Nations schools, was unveiled at the Treaty 4 Governance Center in Fort Qu’Appelle.
Kitoskâyiminawak Pîkiskwêwak – Our Young People Speak: The Environment Edition is the fifth edition to be released by PVSD.
Reila Bird, First Nations & Metis Education Consultant for PVSD, is the lead project manager who co-ordinated the students and the teachers.
“The magazine serves as a teaching and learning resource for students and educators, and it focuses on respect for Mother Earth, natural balance in nature, and the impacts of living respectfully on the land which is the foundation of many First Nations worldviews,” said Bird.
Bird said the project was introduced to the students in January by their teachers and that it took place mainly in English classes, however there were connections to science classes and one school that even did the foods study class.
“It fits with the curriculum with respect to treaty education; they go hand in hand, so it’s a way to honor that in the classroom,” said Bird.
Bird said after the project was introduced to the grade 10 students all the schools came together on February 4 for the magazine symposium, in which they had a mini workshop day.
The students went from session to session to listen to speakers Elder Wayne Goodwill, Elder Noel Starblanket and Elder Murray Ironchild and keynote speaker Phillip Brass.
“One spoke about traditional medicines, one spoke about the connection to the hunting, trapping and farming industry and the other one spoke about the treaty four flag and how that came to be,” said Bird.
Brass spoke about the climate change and the impact that it has on Mother Earth.
“The students went back to their schools, to think about everything they were listening to at the symposium,” said Bird.
The students focused their research on environmental concerns and topics in which they also shared their personal stories and histories.
On the last pages of the article, the contributors’ page, you can read about what the students learned from the project.
Chaya Poitras from Bert Fox Community High school said, “We need to respect and love the environment, and try our best to take care of it. We need to encourage others to respect the environment and our surroundings.”
Brian Ironstar from Nakoda Oyade Education Center added, “No one will understand what the water is truly worth until it is fully polluted or until the well is dry. Then we’ll understand and it will be too late.”
In the magazine, there are various artworks, photographs taken by students, poems, and stories.
“A lot of creativity went into this project. It wasn’t just a, let’s sit down and write a story,” said Bird, pointing out the artwork and photography.