Turtle Talk

By: Candida Shepherd

Welcome to Treaty 6 Territory and Metis Nation Region 4. Let us begin by acknowledging that we are on traditional territories in Alberta of the many First Nations, Metis and Inuit whose footsteps have marked these lands for centuries. We are all treaty people.

May/June 2022

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May 5th - MMIWG2S

Murdered and Missing Indigenous Woman, Girls, Two-Spirited

Indigenous women and our Two-Spirited people have traditionally been revered as life-givers and caregivers. This is why we say, “our women and girls are sacred.” But Indigenous women and girls, including those who are 2SLGBTQQIA, continue to be devalued. All too many become the victims of violence.

In many nations, red is known to be the only color spirits see. It is hoped that by wearing red, we can call back the missing spirits of our women and children so we can lay then to rest.

The REDress project, which involves the hanging of red dresses in spaces, began as an art installation by Métis artist Jamie Black on the campus of the University in Winnipeg in 2011. The empty red dresses are meant to signify the losses of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGTBQQIA people to colonial violence.

It was with great pleasure and pride to attend the Red Dress Day Walk with our students of Bev Facey. We marched from Churchill Square to Beaver Hills House handing out personal hygiene bags to our sisters in need.

Why is it Okay?
The REDress Project at the National Museum of the American Indian
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Thursday May 12th - Moose Hide Campaign Day

The Moose Hide Campaign Day is a grassroots movement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous men and boys who are standing up against violence towards women and children. Wearing this moose hide signifies your commitment to honour, respect, and protect the women and children in your life and to work together to end violence against women and children.

Let’s inspire men to become involved in the movement to end violence towards women and children.

We will have Moose Hide available for everyone in our community. Come to the main school office, or come see Mrs. Shepherd to get your hide!!

Highway of Tears - Taken
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'Turtle Talk -Tuesdays'

Every week, I hold a talking circle with a mini lesson on a topic that peaks my interest related to the First Nations, Metis or Inuit culture. They are usually 20 mins long and start at the beginning of each block (1-4).

Ask your teacher to join us. IF you are a family member, contact the office.

We meet in Student Services Culture Room on TUESDAYS at 8:45am, 10:15am, 12:30 pm and 2pm.

Semester 2 topics will include: We will be ending the year with topics including Highway of Tears, Treaty 6 Flag, Metis Flag and the Medicine Wheel teaching of the South - Nipin (Summertime)

Check Tuesday mornings bulletin for more info: HERE

Pe kiyoke (come and visit!)

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May 28th - GRAD !!!

Mamihcimowewin (congratulations)


As First Nations, Métis and Inuit students moving on to the next chapter in their lives, we will be honouring and celebrating their journeys by providing each student with a gift.

In many Indigenous communities, the practice of gift giving is an important part of the culture and represents the values of generosity and reciprocity. We’d like to acknowledge this tradition as part of the Division’s recognition of their achievements.

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The Pope's Apology

A national indigenous delegation went to Rome to speak to the Pope at the end of March. This included members of my community. After 4 days of meetings and sharing, on April 1, 2022, Pope Francis made a formal apology. At Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples, we have two priests. Father Susai accompanied the delegation and Father Mark Blom stayed back with us as we processed the events.

The following is a quote from that apology that speaks to the resilience of the Indigenous People of Canada...

"In these days, a beautiful image kept coming up. You compared yourselves to the branches of a tree. Like those branches, you have spread in different directions. You have experienced various times and seasons and you have been buffeted by powerful winds, yet you have remained solidly anchored to your roots, which you kept strong. In this way, you've continued to bear fruit, for the branches of a tree grow high only if its roots are deep."

May the healing continue...

CBC coverage and full Transcript of Apology: HERE

Fr Mark day after
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Thinking about your future... feeding an interest...

Check here regularly for events, activities and supports.

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Special Thank-you to Shane Ward And Sandi Johnson and the students of SCORE

I was honored by the gracious and welcoming space provided by the members of the Student Council On Race Education. This is an amazing group within our student community who actively seek ways to better the world. Your conversations and immediate energy to action for a cause you feel strongly about is inspiring. This fledgling and inclusive group will change the world. It is my hope to Creator that your numbers will grow and you feel your impact.
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