Students made aware of Aboriginal realities at La Concorde school in Senneterre

This school initiative receives financial support from the Ministry of Education. It is carried out in partnership with the Minwashin organization and the Senneterre Native Mutual Assistance and Friendship Center. The project was set up by Lyne Lavallée, head of the Aboriginal project in the schools of Senneterre.

It is important for us to make our students aware of Aboriginal realities. In our clientele, we have native students and non-native students, so it is important for better living together that everyone is aware of each other’s reality.says the director of La Concorde school, Véronique Beaudoin, which welcomes around twenty Aboriginal students.

A woman poses in front of a shaputuan.

Principal Véronique Beaudoin, in front of La Concorde school and the shaputuan.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Martin Guindon

under the shaputuan

A shaputuan, a large conical tent with two doors, was erected on the school grounds by the Senneterre Native Friendship and Mutual Aid Center. The organization leads workshops there on the history, issues and Aboriginal knowledge present on the territory of Senneterre, which has more than 250 Anishinabe people.

We can talk about more political subjects, we can talk about the Indian Act, which was previously the Indian Act. We discuss the history, myths and realities of the Anishinabe and Aboriginals here in Senneterre. We want to present this culture which is really enriching, which should be better knownsays Frank-Olivier Dubé, youth coordinator at the Senneterre Native Friendship and Mutual Aid Center.

Two people in a big tent.

Frank-Olivier Dubé, youth coordinator at the Native Friendship and Assistance Center of Senneterre, and Ève Custeau-Wiscutie, community organizer at the Native Friendship Center of Val-d’Or, lead under the shapituan.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Martin Guindon

The shaputuan also presents the red dresses made last fall by students during another awareness activity at the Senneterre school. This is a project that was done in the English class, where the students had to write a text to talk about the Aboriginal reality. The red dresses were made in plastic arts and commemorate the missing aboriginal womensays Frank-Olivier Dubé.

The exhibition NIN – I Am – Je Suis

La Concorde students can also visit the exhibition TIN I Am I Am on the Anishinabe language, which has just returned from Paris. Presented last week in Kitcisakik, this is only its second stop in the region.

An exhibition in an arena.

The exhibition NIN – I Am – Je Suis de Minwashin is presented at the André Dubé Sports Center in Senneterre.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Martin Guindon

There is enormous potential here in Senneterre, which was called Nottaway Zibi, because there is a significant Aboriginal population here. We didn’t come here often and I think the occasion is more than good, the reception of the exhibition, it’s just positiverejoices Roger Wylde, co-founder and vice-president of Minwashin, which promotes Anishinabe culture and language.

According to him, this awareness week organized by La Concorde school is a step in the right direction.

We are neighbors and we don’t talk to each other. That, precisely, allows us to exchange, share and start afresh on a new way of seeing the Anishinabe culture. And in this case, it allows students to broaden their horizons at school level and to glimpse a collaboration in the future, perhaps a way of working together.argues Roger Wylde.

Roger Wylde in front of a big drum.

Roger Wylde, vice-president and one of the founders of Minwashin, talks here about Tewekan and the importance of it being heard again along with the Anishinabe language.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Martin Guindon

Presented at the André Dubé Sports Center in Senneterre, the exhibition is open to the general public on Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., then from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free.

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