A new look to the main doors at Walter Murray Collegiate is welcoming students and the community to the building and illustrating the school's commitment and response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action.
On June 21, National Aboriginal Day, the school unveiled images above the front doors that recognize its presence on Treaty 6 territory and the homeland of the Métis people.
Tracy Laverty, the collegiate's learning leader for First Nation, Inuit and Métis Student Success, said the installation is just one way in which the school and Saskatoon Public Schools is responding to the Calls to Action.
"We realized that the first thing we needed to address was the way in which people experience our building," Laverty said, "so we answered the call to honour Indigenous identity within our environment in several concrete ways. We began by placing the Treaty 6 and Métis flags in our lobby so that our respect for the sovereignty of Indigenous nations is as clear as our respect for our country."
Students and staff stand for the national anthem every morning and a Cree version of anthem has been added to recognize that language is a large part of the way in which people interact with the world. In addition, the creation of a culture room, and the opportunity for students to work with an Indigenous artist to fill the space with art that reflects Indigenous identity, builds on the student learning involved in the Calls to Action response.
The installation of the Treaty 6 and Métis images above the front doors is a visible sign to the entire community of the school's commitment to reconciliation. Revealing the building's new face to students and staff on National Aboriginal Day holds special significance.
"Much of the experience of Walter Murray happens before you even enter," Laverty said. "The images on the windows of the front lobby welcome students and guests to our building in a way that that is more indicative of our deep respect for Indigenous culture."