A local school is finding colourful ways to bring Indigenous teaching into the classroom.
Students at St. John XXIII were excited to welcome Indigenous artist and designer Lance Cardinal to their school to take part in unveiling a new commissioned piece from the artist. Cardinal is the first guest the school has had since last year.
The school began weaving Indigenous teachings into their curriculum last year, which includes the seven sacred teachings featured on the artwork.
School principal Bonnie-Lynne Boehm said not only was it important to have Cardinal there to present the painting, but also to share background and Indigenous teachings to the students.
"To have Lance Cardinal here sharing the traditions and culture in his own language and art is so important and made it so much more meaningful to our students."
Ronalee Bourassa, the school's Indigenous lead, applied for a grant last year which enabled them to commission the artwork. The art is going to be used as a teaching piece for years to come.
"We're growing it into a bigger school activity – weaving indigenous teachings throughout our curriculum," said Bourassa.
The students also took part in creating and gifting their own art to Cardinal, which he shared on social media.
Ada Boulton, a Grade 4 student, added everyone in her class made a flower and pinned it to a poster for Cardinal.
"We put a pipe cleaner in a circle around this word: hiy-hiy and in Cree, that's thank you," she explained.
Cardinal is an award-winning artist and designer and was commissioned to paint a mural at IKEA in Edmonton last year.