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Sudbury high school students create two Indigenous murals

Some new wall art was unveiled at a Greater Sudbury area high school Thursday to help celebrate National Indigenous History Month.

Around 150 students at École secondaire Hanmer took part in a project to create two Indigenous murals.

Indigenous mural made by students at Ecole secondaire Hanmer representing the future. June 1/23 (Alana Everson/CTV Northern Ontario)

Grade 10 student Jessica Gour calls the experience invaluable.

"I gained a lot of knowledge about Indigenous cultures and my grandma as Indigenous, but, unfortunately, she passed away before I could even learn a lot about the culture," Gour said.

"So this really brought out the Indigenous part in me and it made me experience things that I never would have experienced if I did not do this project."

A teacher who oversees inclusion and diversity at the school, Natalie Frappier, said the students came up with the concept after attending the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation event in Bell Park last September.

"We wanted a big project where we could really reflect on the past and the future and what the students and the staff could do to have a change," Frappier said.

Artist Jessica Somers also helped students incorporate woodland art into the murals.

"The students were involved right from the beginning having that teaching creating the artwork and then teamwork and collaboration throughout the whole process," Somers said.

Stéphane Paquette, a well-known local francophone musician and actor, works as a cultural facilitator for Indigenous education for the Conseil scolaire du Grand Nord school board.

"Everyone in the school had a presentation on the importance and what the woodlands art style is. And then the artist in question, Jessica Somers, came in and worked with the students and made sure that the concept came from the students," Paquette said.

"The paint stokes and everything came from the students also."

The school's principal, Patrick Venne, was impressed with the end result.

"It's a project that I hope students take away that it's important to not forget the past, but at the same time too, you know, plan for the future to see what we can do differently," Venne said.

The murals that represent the past and future hang in the hallway outside of the school's history classroom. Top Stories

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