Catholic Divisions in Saskatchewan working around Truth and Reconciliation

Daily Herald File Photo

Catholic School Divisions in the province are continuing to do work around supporting the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and Indigenous Education Responsibility.

At their regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 19, the Prince Albert Catholic School Division board of education received an update about the work being done among the eight Catholic Divisions.

New superintendent Wade Mourot is chairing the committee in the division, but was not present at the meeting. Director of education Lorel Trumier presented the report on his behalf. Trumier credited Mourot for his work on the file.

“They are doing some great work about putting Truth and Reconciliation in front of our students and making it up front and centre for our staff to continue to learn and grow and respond to the Calls to Action,” she said.

One of the division’s biggest projects is the Moccasin Project, where school principals construct moccasins and guide students through the process each day as part of morning announcements. At the first regular meeting in September, Ecole St. Mary High School Principal Mark Phaneuf’s video was shown to the board as a means of introduction to the concept.

“Each school has been provided some seed money to do some special activities and we know that is occurring in our schools in different ways,” Trumier said. “We will try to have a report shortly here of some of the initiatives that the schools are doing under that Moccasin Project.”

There have been two virtual meetings of the Indigenous Leadership Committee where divisions discussed and shared information about activities for Truth and Reconciliation Day, Orange Shirt Days, the significance of the visit of Pope Francis earlier this year, and connecting the Catholic faith and traditional teachings.

“The committee itself tries to look at the ongoing support of Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and reminding students what the importance of Orange Shirt Days represents and the significance and assessing and reflecting on our Pope’s visit to discuss these matters as well with our children and with our staff connecting our Catholic faith to the traditional teachings as well,” Trumier explained.

“All of those things are very important to us and we are trying to take, each day, one step to getting better so that’s what the whole work is of that Indigenous Leadership Committee, working with Elders or Knowledge Keepers and those kinds of things are really important to us,” she added.

There was an in person meeting in November at Holy Rosary Cathedral Hall in Regina. At the meeting three guests were on hand to share their perspectives on Catholic education and Indigenous knowledge.

“We had Lyndon Linklater and Archbishop Don Bolen and an elder from the Regina area because that’s the area that they were working in the territory that they were working in,” Trumier explained.