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Entire elementary school in Nanaimo creates artwork for National Indigenous Peoples Day

Forest Park Elementary School students get inspired by notable artists

Nanaimo elementary students created a school-wide art exhibit inspired by notable Indigenous artists from across Canada.

Debra Elliott, a First Nations support worker at Forest Park Elementary, developed packages for all grades with photocopies of art, allowing students to learn from and create art inspired by Indigenous artists. The works were exhibited at the school on National Indigenous Peoples Day on Wednesday, June 21.

Elliott referred to the exhibition as an “honouring of the artist,” with Solomon Seward, Dale Auger, Bill Reid and Buffy Sainte-Marie among the artists whom students emulated.

“Some teachers got me to come into the classroom and help them and some didn’t, some just did it on their own. All I asked them to do was look up the name of the artist and read a paragraph about that artist to the kids.”

Elliott said there was buy-in from everyone.

“I wanted to do something that would bring the whole school together…” said Elliott. “I kind of quietly did it and then the teachers and all the staff came and helped me set up … I really feel like it’s the school’s art … Everybody was a part of it.”

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Karl Yu

About the Author: Karl Yu

After interning at Vancouver Metro free daily newspaper, I joined Black Press in 2010.
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