( Photo Supplied by The Comox Valley School District)
This month, Lake Trail Community Middle School will be celebrating Orange Shirt Day in a special way.
Orange Shirt Day is when Canadians acknowledge and honour thousands of Indigenous children who were taken away to residential schools across Canada.
To honour this day, the school is planning to showcase an Art and Story Walk installation in the forest around the school.
The schools Indigenous Education team collaborated with the Lake Trail Community Education Society, as well as Story Walkthrough Comox Valley Lifelong Learning Program and the Vancouver Island Regional Library to bring the idea to life.
The pages of The Orange Shirt Story will be displayed on a path throughout the forest behind Lake Trail School, Roy Stewart Morrison Nature Park, along with signs that remind us that every child matters.
Collaborative artworks made by the students will also be installed and will express and represent the kids’ feelings around the story and the history of residential schools in Canada.
At the end of the walk, students will gather and meet with an Elder from the community who will speak to them about these events from our past and answer questions.
“We are really excited to share with the community our first project this school year,” says Jenna Flint and David Dawson, Lake Trail’s Indigenous Support Workers.
Lake Trail students will experience the installation on Wednesday, September 30th and then other district schools including Nala’atsi, Courtenay’s school for students with Indigenous ancestry, will visit on October 1st between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.
The Art and Story Walk will also open to the public as a self-guided walk on Thursday, October 1st from 2:00 pm– 5:00 pm.
Lake Trail Principal Gerald Fussell is inviting the community to come and experience the walk, beginning at the back of the school’s top field, off of Lake Trail Road.