On May 5, Monck Public School (MPS) students recognized the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirited People.
Led by the school’s Grade 5 French Immersion teacher, Heather Bailie, students in Grade 1 to 8 decorated and cut out red dresses to hang along the fence in front of the school. Older grades were encouraged to write the name of a missing or murdered individual on their dress. And one class even made the initiative into an art project, designing dresses and then decorating them in First Nations style art with a sacred animal that represents hope or rebirth.
“Our junior and intermediate classes took this as an opportunity to learn about systematic racism,” explained Bailie. “Some students also made connections to Orange Shirt Day and the residential schools, and the intergenerational trauma that our First Nations peoples still suffer from.”
MPS is a legacy school of the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund, an initiative to engage, empower, and connect students and educators to further reconciliation through awareness, education, and action.