Category: Student Experiences

Le Bac student helping to preserve Indigenous languages

4th-Year Baccalauréat en Éducation (Français) student Wahbi Zarry has beaten pandemic odds with his recently released video, 10 Days of Nakota, the second in a series of educational documentaries exploring Indigenous languages.

Produced and directed by Wahbi with director of photography and editor Tony Quiñones, the video documents Wahbi’s educational journey as he learns to speak Nakota in 10 days. The first video, 10 Days of Cree, was released in 2020. Despite the upheaval of the pandemic, including the loss of his father and uncle, Wahbi persevered to finish both his studies and the second video.

Wahbi conceived of the idea of the educational language videos after realizing how existing documentaries about Indigenous languages were slow-paced, not reflecting the vibrancy of the communities documented. “I mean there is no movement. We get the wrong idea about these communities. They are not at all like the documentaries; they are working, there are schools, there are education programs, people are fighting for their language, their culture, and I wanted to show it differently,” says Wahbi.

As a French language speaker who was born in Morocco and grew up in Paris, France, and who immigrated to Canada, where he learned English, and now Cree and Nakoda, Wahbi understands the value of language. “For me a language is what culture sounds like. Language is the mirror of culture. Losing the language is losing the communication part in a culture,” Wahbi is concerned about the loss of Indigenous languages worldwide. To save Indigenous languages, Wahbi says, we must “include the youth and create entertainment to learn this language.”

Enter: Crocus BigEagle and an entertaining video documenting Wahbi’s attempt to learn Nakota in 10 days.

Photo credit: Tony Quiñones.

In 10 Days of Nakota, 10-year-old Crocus BigEagle was Wahbi’s Nakota teacher; he smiles as he says, “She was sufficiently strict.” Their interactions are lighthearted and humorous. The final exam is conducted by the only remaining fluent speaker of Nakota, Elder Peter Bigstone (Ocean Man Nakoda First Nation). To receive his Nakota education, Wahbi moves from Ocean Man First Nation, to Regina, to Carry the Kettle Nakoda Nation, and finally to Pheasant Rump Nakota First Nation. While the video’s tone is entertaining and heart-warming, that there is only one fluent speaker left is felt poignantly.

Wahbi says, “When it comes to Indigenous language in general, it is something extremely important. What kinds of structures do we have to protect these languages?” Officialization of Indigenous languages is one of the solutions Wahbi suggests: “What we do for the French language needs to happen for Indigenous languages.” Wahbi adds, “Braille and sign language should also be official languages.”

By producing these videos, Wahbi says he has learned to think differently about the concept of identity: “I grew up in Europe where the concept of identity is considered a bit of racism, or chauvinism, but in the Indigenous communities of Canada, identity means something else: language, culture, including others, it means sharing the knowledge. Now I see identity really differently than before.”

Parts of the video were intentionally filmed on the University of Regina campus. Wahbi says, “I did very good to apply to the University of Regina. It is very important to me to represent the University. Being a student here was a blessing.” Wahbi funded these videos himself as a gift, a way of giving back to Canada, a country he says, “gave me the opportunities I needed to do what I wanted to do.”

As a result of the documentaries, Wahbi has been contacted by Indigenous communities and others from around the world. His videos have cleared up a misconception that “All First Nations speak the same language.” Wahbi hopes the next video will be set in New Zealand, learning the Māori language in 10 days.

Watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzIBEZIBrps

Alumnus positively influencing change

Alumnus Christian Mbanza (BEd’17–Le Bac) is currently a French Immersion Educator at École St. Mary Elementary School in Regina. You may have seen Christian in the news recently regarding his work to bring Black history into prairie classrooms.

Christian has a passion for history and it is one reason he became a teacher: “I have a passion, not only about important events throughout history, but the people who were able to influence society. I had a history teacher in high school who would always tell us that ‘those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it,’ and that continues to echo in my mind. I see how true that is throughout society today.”

Black history is a particular focus for Christian, who says, “I believe that teaching Black history is often misrepresented or ignored in general and has created a negative image and perception around Africans/African-Canadians. In order for the perception to change, we must first know the history and properly teach the history. When students, Black or White, learn about the positive contributions of Black people, whether it be in science, art, law, and so forth, they are able to gain an appreciation and a new understanding. To ensure that Black history is being implemented, I encourage teachers to use resources by Black authors, writers, artist, and refer to famous Black scientists and mathematicians and incorporate primary sources into reading lists.”

A second passion for Christian is people, especially youth, which is another reason he became a teacher: “An educator can positively influence and change the course of a person’s life and that has always been my goal in becoming an teacher,” says Christian.

After 5 years of teaching experience at the elementary level, Christian has had the opportunity to define and refine his teaching philosophy. He says, “Experience is the best teacher. I have learned that effective teachers allow their students to make connections between content and acquire new knowledge that transforms into new ideas. That is why teachers have such a crucial role in the advancement of the community. Further, I am a firm believer in the power of relationships. Strong, positive relationships between teachers and students in the classroom are fundamental to promoting academic and overall student growth.”

Christian values the B.Ed. program he took with the Faculty of Education, “The B.Ed program has shown me the importance of challenging students to be the best that they can be so that they can positively influence our community.” Earning an education degree was, says Christian, “One of the proudest accomplishments of my life… I gained a passion and found purpose in education. Education has allowed me to gain problem solving abilities from multiple perspectives and, in my opinion, it has always held an important role in shaping the future of our society.”

Offering shout-outs to former professors, Christian says, “I had some very influential professors like Clay Burlingham, who changed my entire perspective on how history was taught; Dominic Sarny, who was instrumental in teaching me about cultural pride; and Jean Dufresne, who showed me how to implement my passion into what I teach and how I teach it. A lot of how I teach has really come from my education at the University and these professors especially.”

The most memorable experience Christian had as a French le Bac student was his experience at Laval University: “As a French education student, in order to develop our skills in French, second-year students spend two full semesters in language and cultural immersion at Laval University. This experience allowed me to grow as a person, student, and a teacher. By far the most memorable experience!”

Christian has now decided to work on his master’s degree with the Faculty of Education. “Pursuing a master’s will allow me to grow as a person, and I believe that it will help me create an inclusive classroom in a diverse world, while learning and growing my passions. As an educator I believe it is very important to continue to create the necessary changes in your life and in your classroom to impact our youth and our community.”

Why become a teacher? To be a role model

A story can be told about each of Education student Nahanni Evelyn Rose (Adams-Lindberg)’s names, which is not surprising when you consider that she was named by her mother, Carol Rose GoldenEagle, the 9th poet laureate of Saskatchewan. She was named after the Nahanni River located near Yellowknife, in Canada’s beautiful North West Territories (NWT). Yellowknife is where Nahanni spent her early years until the end of Grade 6, when her family moved to Saskatchewan. “Nahanni” is a Dene word that means “strong rock,” referring to a large rock that juts out of the Virginia Falls on the Nahanni River. Nahanni herself is a mix of Cree and Chipewyan (Dene). Her middle name, Evelyn, was given to her after the Evelyn Falls in the NWT. Given the meaning of her names and a childhood lived out in Yellowknife, it is little wonder that Nahanni loves to spend time in the outdoors and to hike.

Nahanni feels little connection with her current last name Adams-Lindberg. Adams is the name of the family who raised her mom after she was scooped in the 60s. And Lindberg is the family name of her father, who left when she was very young. “I still have a close relationship with my dad, but my name has no significance to me; that is why I want to change it to Rose, which has more meaning.”

Rose was name of the family’s first pet dog, adopted when they relocated to Saskatchewan. The significance of the name Rose, says Nahanni, “is that there are four letters in the word and there are four people in our family. Roses are beautiful but they have some thorns, like we have.”

Rose, the pet, brought their family together through the hardships they experienced after moving away from Yellowknife and through the difficult financial and emotional time while Nahanni’s mom, Carol, transitioned from being a journalist with CBC to a full-time artist/writer. Carol had been working on her first novel, Bearskin Diary, on top of her regular job and single parenting while the family lived in Yellowknife. But after a friend who had deferred his dreams until retirement passed away, Carol decided not to put off working on her art.

A year or so after settling down at Regina Beach, Carol left her job with CBC to establish herself as an artist. Nahanni says, “We ended up getting poorer at first. I know what it is like to grow up without money. But it all paid off in the end.” Nahanni points to the struggles faced by their family as showing, “what it’s like being raised by a single mom from the 60s scoop.” The difference being, “My mom ensured we grew up with a loving mom, something she never grew up with, a mom. I am living a happy life regardless of the obstacles my family has faced—we always make it out strong.” This outcome aligns with the oft-repeated family mindset of “Everything is going to work out.” And it has. Carol is now a successful published novelist, poet, playwright, visual artist, and musician and Nahanni is on her way to her chosen profession: teaching.

Growing up in Yellowknife was a great experience for Nahanni: “I loved it! I grew up with my brothers, grew up on the back rocks, playing outdoors, in the bush.” Nahanni is the twin sister of her younger brother (by 11 minutes) Danny, and the younger sister of Jackson. “It was like growing up with your best friends. They really looked out for me and made sure I was included,” says Nahanni.

Comparing her schooling experiences in Yellowknife to Saskatchewan, Nahanni says, “In Yellowknife, the students were mostly Indigenous. We didn’t see each other as colour; we saw people as their personalities. We were also taught Indigenous culture in our curriculum with activities like sewing class and a hunting class where teachers and Elders would take us out to the bush to learn how to snare rabbits and to dry meat. When we moved here, I felt like it was Danny and I, probably two out of the five Indigenous people in the school. It was hard making friends here. I’m just happy that I had Danny, he was kind of my best friend. I felt like I didn’t get bullied a lot. It took adapting to a new environment to learn who I am and I am happy in my place in life. I didn’t experience racism the way my mom did, but I felt that people did judge me by my look and not my personality.”

A couple years after moving to Regina Beach, however, their family became accepted as “locals” in the small town, and life became easier. “Now I work at the Beach Bar and I’m a local and everyone knows me,” says Nahanni.

When the time came for choosing a career, Nahanni couldn’t decide. “When I graduated high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do at all,” she says. It wasn’t until she turned 21 that Nahanni took steps towards deciding on a career. She made a pros and cons list for a variety of career options, and education was the option that stood out for her. “It checked off all the boxes: I’m good with people, love kids, and I want to be a good role model. I want kids to grow up with someone who actually cares because I feel like I’ve had teachers in the past, where some cared and some didn’t. I could see myself as a teacher who cares. Something inside of me spoke to me: ‘Be a teacher.’ You just get those gut feelings.”

While many of her family and friends affirmed and encouraged her choice to become a teacher, Nahanni remembers specifically one of her Lumsden high school teachers, Ms. Winter, who was a great influence on her. “She was the one who paid close attention to me; she built that student-teacher relationship. She made me feel seen and heard. Ms Winter would say, ‘Your mom raised you well’ and ‘You’re a good kid.’ That made me feel seen as an individual who is capable, able to do things, even if I didn’t understand something right away.”

Nahanni considers her older brother Jackson a role model as well because he tutored her throughout high school in math: “Jackson was patient even when I was frustrated. He would calm me down and encourage me.”

Being a role model is why the teaching profession is so significant; Nahanni says, “We are the educators that need to be there for students, not just as a job, but as they develop. A teacher should be someone that students look up to for the rest of their lives. Someone who is a role model. I want to be a role model.”

Nahanni chose the University of Regina (U of R) for her elementary teacher education program for several reasons: She wanted to stay in Regina because it was close to her mom and her twin brother. Nahanni adds, “I thought it would be a great place to study. I had heard from friends and friends of friends that this education program is the best in Canada.”

Her experience at the U of R has been positive. Nahanni says, “I love it. I was first accepted into the Faculty of Arts. I didn’t get into the Faculty of Education, I think maybe because I was a bit late sending in forms. I took three classes in the Arts program that all transferred over into my education program.”

The next year Nahanni was accepted as a transfer into the Faculty of Education. “I was so happy. It was the best thing ever. I called my mom and my dad and I cried and danced. It was a lot of emotion. I was alone in my house. I am really happy. It all worked out. That mindset of when I was a kid—I stay true to that today. Everything will work out,” she says.

A major obstacle Nahanni had to overcome to go to University was her tendency toward procrastination. Nahanni says, “I kept making excuses and putting it off, telling myself I was going to apply. Mom and Jackson kept saying, ‘Just apply!’ Jackson on a daily basis asked ‘Have you applied yet?’ One day I just did it because I didn’t want him asking me anymore. The next time he asked, I could say, ‘I did it already.’”

As advice to others considering becoming a teacher, Nahanni says, “Just put in your application. Don’t make excuses and see where it goes. Who knows, it might change your life. If you’re nervous or scared, that’s the point where you push yourself a little, because you know you want to become a teacher. I was nervous, too, afraid I wasn’t good enough to be a university student. Now I don’t think that at all. I know I can do it.”

Teaching hard truths in a positive way: Kâsinamakewin

Natasha Halliwell, a third-year Elementary Teacher Education student, can now add author and illustrator to her list of titles. A mom to 7 children, wife to Tyler, and former youth worker, Natasha along with two of her children, Tamika (14 years) and Keaira (11 years) created a picture book, Owl of US MATTER, which tells the truth of Canadian history “without opening the wound again,” in a way she believes will give “hope to future generations.”

The book is a culminating phase of a project that started with course work Natasha was required to do in her first year as an Education student, a Journey of Reconciliation assignment. Natasha says, “Learning about reconciliation in school was saddening; for me being Indigenous it was like picking at a scab. It was devastating. I had never even heard of the word reconciliation before I came to school. I didn’t know it was a thing… Learning about residential schools, learning about what happened, the stories, and being Indigenous, I was shamed. I was never proud to be brown-skinned. But then Dr. Fatima Pirbhai-Illich, I love Fatima, she is very passionate and very kind, and she showed me someone from a different colour that’s not Caucasian that cares authentically about Indigenous people and what happened and I thought that was unreal. She was taking the time to bead this little orange shirt as personal journey of reconciliation. I was required to explain what reconciliation was in my own journey. Since then, I’ve been brainstorming.”

Part of Natasha’s journey is having a mom and uncles and aunties who attended residential school. Though the experience at Lebret was positive for her mom because she made many close friends there, it was harmful for others in her family. One of her uncles started running away from residential school at age 7 or 8 and lived on the railway tracks for most of his life.

Natasha is proud of her heritage, living up to her maiden name Yahyahkeekoot: “It means nose to the sky. Be proud of who you are. Keep your head held high. My kokum taught me how to say my name … you have to clench your teeth tight and say it very fast.” She is of Cree and Dene background, with some Irish, Scottish, and French. Her mother is from Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation and her Dene family is from La Loche, Saskatchewan. From age 7 to 11 she lived in Thunder Bay, Ontario, learning Ojibway legends at the boys and girls club, while her mom went to university to become a social worker, and while under the care of her stepfather, a refugee from Cambodia who had escaped the Vietnam war. “He was all about outdoors and survival. He taught me how to fight and survival skills. I grew up wonderfully like that,” says Natasha.

When her mom and siblings moved back to Saskatchewan, Natasha found another influence in her life: her uncle Leo Yahyahkeekoot, a Cree culture teacher in Saskatoon.

Natasha says, “My Uncle Leo really impacted me, just the way you can teach. Even though we all have our negative sides to this history, we can reroute it to the positive. Yeah it did happen, and it’s not going anywhere; it’s almost like we ain’t there, we’re in a shadow, that’s where I felt I was shamed. We need to help each other to make it okay. We all have our dark history, but it doesn’t mean we can’t forgive.”

After learning about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Natasha was concerned about the way triggering information is taught: “I learned about PTSD. And I started going through it, and I’m like, this happened to me. Okay, this is my family. And I started understanding my life a little bit more. And caring. And then I think because I learned about it through school, I’m able to spot things that are triggers. If we are going to have a trigger, because anything to do with residential school or the past can trigger, it needs to be taught in a positive way.”

“Kâsinamakewin – time to forgive” is the message of Natasha’s book that she hopes will make teaching the hard truths of our shared history less triggering and more positive. “You have to let something go for something new to come. Forgiveness. Putting us all on that equal playing field. It wasn’t only us that had something taken, and had that change, it was everybody. It was every living thing, including the sacred grandfather rocks, for instance. This book will teach the truth equally. It’s easy to comprehend. Easy to read and talk about,” says Natasha.

Natasha didn’t know what to do with her 2-year curriculum project until she conceived of a picture book through another class: “I had this class with Denise Morstad, and my personal art project, the whole thing just took off.” The book is designed to connect to the Saskatchewan curriculum. Natasha says, “My book connects outcomes in the Saskatchewan curriculum for every grade. Plus I have my teaching resources. It’s a big thing all in one.”

For the illustrations, Natasha and her daughters recreated many historical images using owls. Owls were an unusual choice, given they are a bad omen for First Nations. Natasha explains, “I wanted to get rid of race, the separation, the blame. I thought about the owl. An owl has many species that look the same but are different. So I used owls as characters. I use to hate owls; some are associated with death for First Nations. But my daughters love owls. Tamika loves the great horned owl, and Keaira loves the snowy barn owl.”

“I never thought I cared about residential schools, reconciliation, or being Native until I started going to university. I use to hate being brown. I was ashamed, it’s hard being brown. Even coming here sometimes, because you are the only brown girl in class, and then you see the odd one and you get really excited. I was constantly reminded of my difference, and that’s what really brought me to my book,” says Natasha.

Natasha hopes to ease the path for her children and future generations to have a more positive healing experience with education on reconciliation and residential schools.

“I don’t want my kids to feel that shame. They have friends who are Pakistani, Black, you name it. They come to their birthdays. We order so many different kinds of food. It’s so multicultural. I don’t want that diversity to die. I want kids to be able to have that without feeling that shame or separation because of an old fact in history. And well, yeah, there are things that need to be made right in terms of compensation and the Queen, but those things will get dealt with once more people are educated. Right now it’s almost a forgotten truth. It’s a hard truth to swallow. That’s why I needed my book. How am I going to be a teacher if I’m going to pull out all of these facts that I’ve learned? I wanted to compact that and make a friendly little version. ‘This happened, it’s done now. Let’s move on.’ I made sure a lot of facts and information in the book, but at a really easy learning level,” says Natasha.

An invitation to read her book to a class of students has already been extended to Natasha, and she has accepted. She looks forward to future opportunities.

You can view and purchase Natasha’s book at https://www.blurb.com/b/11160722-owl-of-us-matter

A Cree version is now available (Translated by Solomon Ratt) https://www.blurb.com/b/11181079-owl-of-us-matter-cree-version

Spring 2022 Education News

Click image to access the animated copy of Education News.

In this issue:
A note from the Dean….. 3
Change maker: Tranforming schools and society….. 4
Alumna envisions schools as environments of empowerment….. 10
Why become a teacher? To be a role model….. 16
Alumnus positively influencing change….. 20
Le Bac student helping to preserve Indigenous languages….. 22
Teaching hard truths in a positive way: Kâsinamakewin….. 24
De/colonising Educational Relationships….. 29
Study informs services and supports for South Central Saskatchewan newcomers….. 30
Equity, diversity, and inclusion research partnership agreement announced….. 32
Successful defences….. 34
Funding and awards….. 35
Published research….. 36
New book….. 38
Long service recognition….. 38
New staff|New position….. 39
Student fundraising….. 40

Expressive Therapy and Wellness Series for undergrad education students

Undergraduate Education students: Have the stressors and safety concerns of the pandemic taken a toll? Have you experienced loss, illness, or a difficult personal circumstance? Are you interested in learning valuable coping skills and tools to help lower anxiety?

The Faculty of Education is offering a 10-part Expressive Therapy and Student Wellness Workshop Series starting in January 2022. (Free for Undergraduate Education Students!)

Led by Karen Wallace, a well-respected Art and Play Therapist and Trauma Counsellor, these interactive sessions are designed to introduce students to a host of coping skills to help lower stress and anxiety. Creating a safe space for students in education to lean into their creativity and self-awareness, students will also learn how to incorporate trauma-informed wellness exercises into their own teaching.

Check your email for more information and for links to download the workbook and for the Zoom sessions. No preregistration is required. Just visit Karen’s Zoom room at the time sessions are offered.

WestCAST 2022 PD opportunity for Education students

Education students, don’t miss this PD and networking opportunity! WestCast is an annual education conference held by education faculties in the western provinces. The 2022 virtual conference features multiple keynote speakers and workshops that focus on topics related to education and wellness. Cost: $42. **Deadline for registration is February 1, 2021.** More information here: https://conferences.usask.ca/westcast2022/index.php#WestCast2022

***FREE WESTCAST 2022 REGISTRATION FOR FIRST 30 EDUCATION STUDENTS WHO REGISTER HERE: https://uregina.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3QOleyaGW8XSfXg ***

****DO YOU WANT TO BE A PRESENTER? Please contact wanneta.martin@uregina.ca to book an appointment to meet with the associate dean, Dr. Pamela Osmond Johnson.****

Arts Education student’s project becomes community building exercise

If anything, this pandemic has highlighted how valuable teachers are. They contribute so much to society and make a world of difference. This news story from April 2021, tells how Amy Brandt’s undergrad arts ed project became a community building exercise.

“What started as a university art education project has grown into a community building exercise in Cochrane. Amy Brandt is studying to be an art teacher. Her instructor at the University of Regina challenged the class to create an art project that brought people together in a COVID safe manner.”

Read the story at https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/i-m-trying-hard-to-keep-it-colourful-cochrane-kids-take-to-the-sidewalk-in-community-art-event-1.5384848

Education admin team welcome students to campus and to the fall 2021 term

Students, in this video, our Administrative Team (Dean, Associate Deans, and Faculty Administrator) welcomes you (back) to campus and (back) to the Fall 2021 term, which begins Monday, August 30. We are committed to ensuring your safety on campus. The student services office (Ed355) is open and ready to receive students. We look forward to seeing you, whether in person or online

Notre communauté d’artistes trouve son inspiration dans la nature

« Toutes les grandes personnes ont d’abord été des enfants, mais peu d’entre elles s’en souviennent. » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

La nature est une grande source d’inspiration et cela nous a entraînés vers des sentiers de découverte et de partage pendant toute la session de Didactique des arts. Une cohorte d’étudiant.es a suivi les cours de français ensemble en automne 2020. Cela nous a permis d’établir un rapport qui a été renforcé et enrichi à travers l’expression créative lors du cours d’art qui s’est déroulé en hiver. Nous avions un projet de correspondance avec la classe de 4ème année de Stéphanie Pain, enseignante dans une école fransaskoise depuis septembre 2020 et vous pouvez trouver des informations sur notre billet de blogue du 18 avril en cliquant ici. Cependant, le projet de correspondance est devenu plus axé sur les arts en hiver. Nous avons été subjuguées et éblouie par la créativité et le niveau d’implication des étudiant.es et élèves dans les projets artistiques au point que nous pouvons affirmer que l’art permet de véhiculer toutes les émotions et sentiments ressentis et de créer une communauté bienveillante, vibrante et débordante de créativité.

Les cours en ligne ont été suivis par des étudiant.es dispersés dans toute la Saskatchewan et résidant à Lloydminster, Meadow Lake, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon et même au Québec. Dès le début de la session en janvier, nous nous sommes lancé.es dans un partage de photos de paysages d’hiver sur le forum (inspiré par une exposition virtuelle sur les « Paysages hivernaux » et un défi photo lancé par le Musée National des Beaux-Arts à Québec). La beauté des paysages capturés et les commentaires bienveillants ont bercé les discussions et nous ont amené.es à discuter de l’importance de ralentir afin d’observer la nature et l’environnement. Plusieurs étudiant.es ont écrit comment ils observaient la neige, les arbres, le ciel, le brouillard, etc. et exprimé aussi la joie d’explorer les parcs, les forêts et leur entourage. Avec le partage de photos et petites histoires sur le forum, nous avons apprécié les expériences et lieux divers.

Photos de Mango Nziavake et Madison Pawluk

Ensuite, nous avons vécu une variété d’expériences artistiques et assisté à des ateliers sur les arts visuels, la danse, la musique et les arts dramatiques. Avec les cours virtuels, plusieurs artistes invités ont facilement pu nous rejoindre. Nous avons eu le plaisir d’accueillir Carol Rose GoldenEagle, Anne Brochu Lambert, Dre Kathryn Ricketts (éducation) et Dre Melissa Morgan (MAP) de la Saskatchewan, mais aussi Dr Jonathan Bolduc (Université Laval) du Québec, et Meagan Thorlakson de Lethbridge en Alberta. Nous avons beaucoup appris avec nos invité.es et nous leur en sommes très reconnaissant.es.

Le 25 janvier, Carol Rose GoldenEagle (artiste nêhiyaw et Dene) a expliqué qu’elle puise son inspiration dans la nature pour la création artistique et elle a transmis aux étudiant.es des perspectives autochtones en matière d’art. Les étudiant.es ont appris qu’il faut oser avoir du courage pour créer sans peur et trouver la joie dans le processus créatif.

Le 8 février, par une journée bien froide de -48 degrés à Regina (avec le facteur vent), nous avons vraiment apprécié une visite guidée virtuelle en français au Musée d’art Mackenzie. Nous avons apporté notre thé ou café chaud et l’art a réchauffé nos esprits. Il s’agissait d’une exposition interculturelle Ithin-eh-wuk—« Nous nous plaçons au centre » : James Nicholas et Sandra Semchuk. Avant la visite virtuelle, les étudiant.e.s ont préparé un dessin ou une série de photos en lien avec un endroit important pour eux et ils devaient imaginer l’endroit au fil du temps. La visite a servi de tremplin à des discussions sur nos relations avec la terre, les êtres humains et non-humains, les traités et les relations entre les communautés autochtones et allochtones.

« … nous avons pensé à un endroit auquel nous sommes connectés et réfléchi à comment cet endroit a changé au fil du temps. J’ai décidé de dessiner mon premier appartement à la résidence U de R. À gauche, j’ai dessiné ce à quoi je pensais que cet endroit aurait ressemblé il y a 1000 ans, et à droite j’ai dessiné ce à quoi je pensais qu’il aurait ressemblé il y a 100 ans et la faune qui existe encore à Regina. » Alex Cottenie

Suite aux lectures sur la conscience écologique, nous avons été littéralement transporté.es par le vent quand Hailey Belcourt a présenté son plan de leçon pour l’album Quand le vent Souffle (Stewart, 2020) qui est une conversation philosophique entre deux arbres. Hailey nous a expliqué en cours qu’elle imaginait inviter des élèves à danser pour interpréter l’histoire.

Adeline Sialou, Atty Sita Kane, et Elvine Josiane Makuaze ont expliqué la signification de La danse de Gumboot en partageant leur plan de leçon. Cette danse était une façon pour les mineurs en Afrique du Sud de communiquer sans parler puisque parler était interdit. À ce moment, nous avons eu l’opportunité de réfléchir sur le thème de la justice sociale et de l’expression artistique.

Le 8 mars, l’artiste fransaskoise Anne Brochu Lambert a animé un atelier sur la technique de l’estampe autour du thème des paysages de la Saskatchewan. Les étudiant.es ont trouvé le matériel (parfois dans leur cuisine!). Installé.es dans leur cuisine, les étudiant.es s’affairaient à créer leur œuvre d’art dans la joie. Une étudiante Mariama Mouhamed a partagé sur le forum qu’elle était ravie d’apprendre cette technique, « J’adore beaucoup l’idée du matériel disponible dans la maison pour créer des empreintes. C’était un moment tranquille et inspirant. »

« La musique m’a été très utile pendant toutes les périodes difficiles de cette année. J’ai eu beaucoup de plaisir à créer un projet musical pour mon cours d’art, je l’ai partagé avec ton enseignante pour que tu puisses le voir. Laisse-moi savoir ce que tu penses! » Shanaya Cossette (lettre à son correspondant Eric le 26 avril.)

Avec l’arrivée du printemps, on a assisté à l’éclosion de talents lors d’un vernissage animé par Clémence Canet. C’était un moment de célébration qui nous a transporté. es dans des paysages féériques au son du violon joué par Shanaya Cossette qui jouait la musique métisse. Plusieurs étudiant.es expliquaient comment ils ont trouvé la confiance et le plaisir de créer et de partager. Une étudiante, Haleigh, a dit qu’elle a apprécié que nous avons vraiment une communauté même avec les cours à distance. Et d’autres étudiant.es ont souligné qu’ils appréciaient les encouragements de leurs collègues et qu’ils étaient surpris d’avoir créé de l’art ensemble sur Zoom.

Mallory Phaneuf, une étudiante métisse de Prince Albert, à créer un abécédaire bilingue en français-michif intitulé « La Terre au Ciel Vivant/Latayrdili Pimatchihoo Syel. » Elle dit dans la dédicace du livre qu’elle était inspirée de « mon arrière-grand-mère, Sophie Mcdougall, qui est une aînée métisse qui parle encore le michif » et qui l’encourage à apprécier sa culture et à la partager.

« J’ai été inspirée par la nature de la Saskatchewan ainsi que par des photos que j’ai prises. Les couchers de soleil sont une de mes choses préférées à voir ici en Saskatchewan, alors je voulais l’inclure dans mon œuvre. » Emily Gay

« D’abord je suis une immigrante. Je suis très heureuse d’avoir choisi le Canada. Je suis joyeuse…comme vous pouvez le voir juste au milieu, j’ai dessiné un cœur qui représente la carte du Canada et l’arbre fleurissant. Les fruits que vous voyez sont en petits cœurs. C’est une manière de représenter la générosité du Canada. Vous pouvez voir les oiseaux qui migrent des quatre coins venus s’abriter à cet arbre-là. La verdure que vous voyez représente la beauté, la joie…. C’est une manière pour moi de dire merci, d’exprimer ma gratitude à l’endroit, ce pays qui m’a accueillie, ma famille et moi. » Atty Sita Kane

« Mon œuvre d’art des aurores boréales que j’ai peinte est inspirée d’une photo que j’ai prise cet été au lac. C’était une soirée où j’étais assise à côté du feu avec mes amies et on a regardé en arrière et il y avait les meilleures aurores boréales que je n’ai jamais vues de ma vie … je n’avais jamais créé une œuvre d’art sur une toile avec de la peinture…c’était vraiment hors de ma zone de confort. » Jordyn Cochet

« Quel beau paysage! Que puis-je dire de plus?

Je suis inspiré par le paysage hivernal. En regardant mon environnement, j’ai constaté un changement du paysage pendant cette saison hivernale. J’exprime mon appréciation de la saison d’hiver. J’ai choisi de prendre des photos avec mon téléphone pour apprécier la beauté naturelle du paysage qui l’entoure. Je pense que la photographie m’a bien servi car les photos reflètent mieux la réalité vécue dans un environnement physique pendant un moment précis. Mon fils et moi avons pris des photos en utilisant mon téléphone pour garder le souvenir de ce beau moment. » Kasereka Mudogo

« Il y a plusieurs choses qui m’ont inspirées en créant mon œuvre. La première étant surtout le fait que les photos que j’ai prises sont toutes sur des chemins que je prends souvent quand je pars promener mon chien avec ma mère. Cela m’a beaucoup influencée surtout avec les couleurs, car j’ai essayé d’incorporer des couleurs vives pour représenter la personnalité de ma mère. » Ambre Kram

Saskatchewan, mon enseignante (par Mango Nziavake)

Un jour, dans un des endroits les plus froids
De ma province où j’ai eu mon premier emploi
Mon âme fut bouleversée d’un grand effroi
Plusieurs questions envahirent mon cœur en désarroi
Suis-je toute entière en proie
A cause du climat froid?

Toutes mes pensées furent menacées d’un grand émoi

Ensuite, dans mon pays d’abri Mon cœur excessivement abatis Me révéla tous mes projets d’emblée abolis Mon âme toute entière engloutie Aperçut à l’horizon la lumière qui luit Oh, quel temps de réveil, mon amie Mon espoir fut nourri

Quelle douleur de vivre une absence
Comme tous les êtres vivants en ont l’accoutumance
Les hommes, les animaux, les végétaux sont en balance
Ils se forment des tissus d’autodéfense
La nature tombe en dormance
C’est la loi de la nature qui assure une assistance

La vie sur la terre est une cadence
Parfois, on est en période de carence
La gestion de plusieurs circonstances
Il faut en avoir un œil de clairvoyance,
Vivre une vie d’attente et de persévérance
Pour ne pas perdre ses performances.

Quelle belle province enseignante
Ta nature est toute inspirante,
Malgré que tu es tombée en silence
Et couverte d’une neige blanche, ta nature toute confiante est pleine d’espérance
En besoin constant de suppléance
Son endurance détermine sa survivance.

Quel secret dans ta nature rafraîchissante?
De ta beauté hivernale
Ma chère capitale provinciale
Répandue d’une neige éblouissante
Des arbres dans l’environnement devenus attrayantes
Percé du soleil au bon réveil matinal
Rend à mon cœur des émotions inspirantes

Enfin, le beau temps de renaissance est venu Au printemps, nous disons bienvenu La nature toute en chœur réunie Chante un chant d’allégresse Où est ta neige réunie Elle est fondue, elle est fondue! Enfin, disparue!
Quelle retrouvaille chaleureuse, ce qui nous manquait est réapparu.

« Cette poésie a été inspirée de mes sentiments personnels ressentis et qui ont envahi mon cœur suite à une absence survécue dans ma vie aussitôt que je suis arrivée au Canada. En effet, deux mois après mon arrivée en Saskatchewan, la province qui m’a accueillie et qui m’abrite, ma douleur fut intense. Petit à petit, la nature de ma province s’est révélée inspirante quand j’essayais de contempler les feuilles, les arbres, les oiseaux et les êtres humains qui sont touchés par les effets de la saison hivernale caractérisé par l’absence de la chaleur du soleil…Après la pluie, vient le beau temps, après l’hiver vient le printemps. » Mango Nziavake

Tournesol crée par Virginie Charollais dans son livre « Mon abécédaire des prairies de la Saskatchewan. »

Les élèves de Mgr de Laval ont partagé quelques œuvres artistiques lors du vernissage et dans leurs lettres avec les étudiant.es du Bac. À la fin de l’année, après avoir envoyé plus de 260 lettres, cartes et œuvres d’art, c’est certain que nous allons toujours garder de beaux souvenirs! A la vue des lettres et œuvres d’art des élèves de 4ème année, plusieurs étudiant.es se sont remémoré des souvenirs d’enfance et ont éprouvé beaucoup de joie à s’exprimer créativement. C’était aussi l’occasion de réfléchir sur l’enseignement de l’art en tant que futur.e enseignant.es. La correspondance avec les élèves de 4ème année a beaucoup inspiré nos étudiant.es et leur a montré comment l’art est important pour les enfants car « Dans chaque enfant il y a un artiste » disait pertinemment Pablo Picasso.

Nous sommes reconnaissantes d’avoir eu l’occasion de vivre cette expérience d’apprentissage avec nos étudiant.es et élèves. La création et le partage étaient une grande source d’énergie positive pour nous tous et toutes!

Quelques oeuvres d’art de la 4ème année d’une école fransaskoise
(La classe de Madame Stéphanie Pain)
Regarde dans le ciel,
Je vois les étoiles qui aiment briller
Car elles veulent jouer,
Je vois aussi le soleil de merveille
Et les couleurs qui réchauffent nos cœurs.
C’est un des meilleurs moments de ma vie,
Car je suis une petite fille
Avec une grande famille

Oeuvre et poème d’Anna, 4ème année, pour ses correspondantes Elisabeth et Emily

Paysage d’hiver d’Anaya
Les montagnes de Linkin

 

Oeuvres des élèves Eric, Jonah, Xavier et Juliette pour leurs correspondant.es
Oeuvres de Malia pour sa correspondante, Mango

L’art de Neckency pour Josiane

Merci beaucoup! Maarsii! kinanâskomitin!

Par Dre Heather Phipps et Madame Stéphanie Pain