Circle of Courage Mural Created at Wilfrid Walker

APRIL 27, 2022 -- The Grade 7 students at École Wilfrid Walker School, with the guidance of Jeff Cappo (Indigenous Education/Advocates/Elders/Truth & Reconciliation Coordinator) and Melanie Mintz (Arts Education teacher and Vice-Principal), embarked on a journey of creativity and learning about the philosophy of the Circle of Courage with the incorporation of Truth and Reconciliation symbols. Jeff and Melanie collaborated on the design, focusing on the importance of the Circle of Courage and the four directions with three important symbols of reconciliation: sage, the white buffalo and the Métis sash.

Each student was assigned one of 28 panels, each 12 by 12 inches. Each panel was sanded and primed by students before the details were painted with acrylic paint. Although the panels were worked on individually, students collaborated artistically with their neighbouring panel artists to create a collectively coherent work of art. The student-created mural took several weeks to come together with the help of  facilities to mount the backboard and the four directions paintings of the Spirit of Independence, the Spirit of Generosity, the Spirit of Belonging and the Spirit of Mastery.

To celebrate the Circle of Courage installation and completion, Jeff shared his knowledge with the Grade 7 students about the background, meaning and the “how to” of the tradition of smudging. Special thanks to the students, Jeff and Melanie for working together on this important project.

- Submitted by the wâhkôtowin Committee, Wilfrid Walker