DAREarts Blog

Discipline, Action, Responsibility, Excellence

Reflections from Webequie – Accomplishments & Pride

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Information for this post supplied by DAREarts Lead Teacher Geneviève Anthony & the students of Simon Jacob Memorial Education Centre.

The high school students at Simon Jacob Memorial Education Centre in Webequie have been working day and night with the DAREarts teachers over the past two weeks. In an ongoing battle against the isolation that presents unique challenges for many remote aboriginal communities, the students are conquering apathy and taking pride in their accomplishments. To celebrate, they are planning a feast where they will also present all of their hard work to the community.

Attention to detail, a steady hand, and patience are a sure recipe for success!
Photo courtesy Geneviève Anthony.
There is more than just fun to be had, and the kids are making this clear in their discussions. In the midst of their excitement, their work returns to tradition in their minds as they find a deeper connection to a proud heritage. By learning to make moccasins, some of the kids are already enthused about using this new skill while out trapping with their families during the upcoming hunting season. By feeling good about their accomplishments, the positive self-esteem and newfound confidence in the air is empowering both the students and teachers.  The kids are really making their heritage their own by adding their contemporary voices and ideas to centuries of tradition.  
Time management has become central to the project. The kids have begun to understand the true value of their time, and the idea that ‘time is money’ resounds in all of their conversations. The kids dream of achieving greatness and finding their own bright futures; in finding their confidence and by seeing what they are capable of both as a team and independently, they know that they are getting closer to their dreams. They are seeing things through as they put the finishing touches on their moccasins, rehearse their b-boy/b-girl dance routine, sing their song together, and prepare for tomorrow evening’s celebration and presentation to the community.
Next week, a new group of grade seven and eight students will be changing gears and focusing on painting their own canvases. They are already buzzing with ideas, eager to make the most of the final week of the 2012 DAREarts First Roots program.
We are incredibly proud of the students, but more importantly, they are proud of themselves.
“I wish it would never end.”

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