Grade 10 students from 7 schools in the Prairie Valley School Division launched a magazine that they’d been working on for a year.

The magazine, Kitoskâyiminawak Pîkiskwêwak: Our Young People Speak: The Holistic Edition, is the culmination of a year-long project to improve student literacy and writing skills while learning about holistic wellbeing from First Nations and Métis communities.

The magazine launch was celebrated at an unveiling at the Treaty 4 Governance Centre in Fort Qu’Appelle on Tuesday May 26.

The Holistic Edition, the fourth magazine in the series, was created by Grade 10 students from seven schools: Balcarres, Bert Fox, Chief Kahkewistahaw, Grenfell, Kakisiwew, Nakoda Oyade Education Centre and Kelliher.

“Holistic means having balance within yourself,” said student Gordon Redcalf of Bert Fox Community High in Fort Qu’Appelle in a press release for the magazine.

For student Sydney Akapew of Balcarres Community School, holistic living means “keeping a balanced life and connecting with everything and everyone.”

Community engagement and celebrating First Nations worldviews are at the core of this writing project. The students began the project in February, gathering at Balcarres Community School to hear elders and resource people speak about holistic philosophies. This magazine is a collection of student writing, poetry and art on what they heard and learned in response to those teachings.

“You need to be well balanced in all areas of your life,” said Alex Louison, a student at Chief Kahkewistahaw Community School. “When a person finds balance, you become healthier.”

The magazine will be a teaching and learning resource for educators and students in Prairie Valley School Division and the participating schools. The Ministry of Education chose the second edition, The Healing Edition (2013), as a recommended resource for English Language Arts 30. The other two editions are The Leadership Edition (2012) and The Healing Edition (2014).

First Nations and Métis Education Coordinator Sandy Pinay Schindler said the benefits of the project extend beyond the classroom. “The importance of connecting youth to the respected knowledge keepers in their communities cannot be overstated. This is the traditional way of learning in many First Nations communities – now and for millennia.”

 

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