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Students use art as symbol of reconciliation

By Derrick Kunz

03/21/2018

Saskatoon Police Chief Troy Cooper was recently presented with a star blanket mural created by students from Bishop Klein Catholic School in Saskatoon. The art work will be installed at the Saskatoon Police Service's Centre for Children's Justice and Victim Services. Photo by Derrick Kunz

SASKATOON — Students at Bishop Klein Catholic School in Saskatoon have expressed their learning about treaty education, residential schools in Canada and reconciliation through art.

The entire school community presented their works of art to Saskatoon Police Service’s Centre for Children’s Justice at an event March 14 at the school.

For several weeks, students in 12 classes painted a star that will each become part of a larger mural depicting a star blanket. The star blanket represents the eternal protection, support, comfort and love of the Creator’s eye.

“This star blanket mural symbolizes the beginning of a new day where indigenous and non-indigenous people start walking on a path that has mutual respect for one another,” said Jamie Arcand, the school’s Aboriginal Student Achievement co-ordinator, who spearheaded the project.

“The mural becomes an act of remembrance, an act of continuing our ability to talk and heal from our histories, and learning to do the right thing,” said Arcand. “We hope it will comfort children when they are at the centre with its vibrant colours and its feeling of a cozy quilt.”

“We are honoured to have the students at Bishop Klein School recognize the work that is done at the Centre for Children’s Justice,” said Police Chief Troy Cooper. “They are now our partners in healing, and their contribution will help us build a safe, healthy and respectful community.”

The mural will be installed at the entrance of the Centre for Children’s Justice.

The Centre for Children’s Justice and Victim Services (previously called the Saskatoon Child Centre) offers a child-friendly facility where members of helping professions can interact with abused children or child victims as a part of the investigative and criminal justice process.

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