A fourth-grade girl in Bruderheim is honouring residential school victims.
On Sunday (Sept. 25), McKenna Bonner was hard at work painting a sidewalk in the town orange. Bonner came up with the idea after learning of her family's history with the schools.
"My mom and dad are Indigenous," said Bonner. "My mom's side of the family went to residential schools."
The process to get the sidewalk painted wasn't straightforward. Bonner first had to present her idea to the town council for approval.
“I told the town I wanted to bring awareness to the community,” says Bonner. “I know residential schools are now closed down, but the effect it still has on my generation is huge. I want people to be aware this problem is still going on, and all children matter.”
The town heard out Bonner's story and unanimously accepted her request. Bonner said it was a little scary getting up in front of the council.
“I was nervous and scared, but I was brave to present it,” said Bonner. “When they accepted my idea, it made me feel proud."
"I felt like an example for others to learn from."
Janice Vandelannoite, the Indigenous lead teacher at the school, says that it's amazing to see a young girl be so passionate about this kind of thing.
“It’s amazing to see a young girl take leadership not only in school but also in the larger community,” says Vandelannoite. “It’s a reminder of our collective commitment to reconciliation as we strive to be loving and accepting while also reflecting and learning from past actions.”
The sidewalk can be seen in downtown Bruderheim.