On September 15, pre-intern Arts Ed students met with Grade 8 Bert Fox Community High School students at Fort Qu’Appelle for the 30th Annual Treaty Four Gathering. There the Arts Ed students paired up and joined with an assigned group of Bert Fox students to take part in the tipi activities. After lunch, the students travelled to Lebret, to the site of the Lebret (Qu’Appelle) Indian Residential School. There they heard from Visiting Saskatchewan Artist Daya Madhur and Instructor Denise Morstad who spoke about the significance of the site, connecting it with Treaty 4 celebrations and the impacts of culture and language loss through residential schools.
Students were encouraged to listen to and learn from the plants and land to create a sense of place in the art that they would produce later that day. (In preparation for this, they had watched Early Fall Medicine Walk with Elder Betty McKenna and If These Hills Could Talk: Daya Madhur)
In smaller groups, students listened to an audio recording of Dr. Shauneen Pete telling about her family’s experiences in the Lebret residential school and how those experiences have impacted generations.
Before students went out individually to explore the site, they were given tea sachets to scatter on a chosen spot as a ritual of asking for teaching from the natural environment. For the rest of the afternoon, students sketched, photographed, and recorded sounds from the environment. They came together again at the end of the day to share their art and reflections. After the Bert Fox students left, the pre-interns debriefed on their experience.