Students, parents, and staff filled the library of St. Anne School in the evening of April 17 as several weeks worth of work was unveiled.
The mural—created in partnership with renowned First Nations artist Kevin Peeace thanks to a Saskatchewan Arts Board Artist in Schools grant—contained input from each and every student and displayed the vibrancy and life expected in Peeace’s work.
The school-wide inquiry set out to answer the question: How does Indigenous land-based education and art inspire us to see Indigenous culture in our day-to-day lives? (Inquiry learning seeks to answer broad questions by integrating age-appropriate information and lessons from a variety of subject and curricular areas, instead of learning individual subject areas in isolation from each other.)
“We saw the grant as an opportunity to work with artist Kevin Peeace to co-create a mural honouring the students’ understanding of the reciprocal relationship with the land through the teachings of Elders and Knowledge Keepers,” said Carol Engel, vice-principal at St. Anne School. “It is an enduring reminder of our students’ journey that we hope will be a legacy piece for the school for many years to come.”
The project began with a kick-off event on February 26, when each student was given a sketchbook for them to create ideas. Peeace spent the next eight weeks working with students, compiling and organizing their work into what has now become a mural in the library.
Peeace said, “Projects like these are important to foster a better understanding of the environment around us and how it impacts our relationship with each other.”