Felicity Coon-Come Brien says she could hardly believe it when she received the letter saying she was one of 13 young artists to be recognized nationally by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
“I was really surprised,” she said. “I didn’t expect to win.”
The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation invites all young people, annually, from kindergarten to post-secondary, to share their personal visions of what Reconciliation can be. It can be a poem, a song, a painting, a sculpture, a rap, a drawing, an essay, a soundscape or any other creative outlet. Winners are invited to the Imagine a Canada National Celebration.
Secondary V student from Mistissini’s Voyageur Memorial High School, Coon-Come Brien was invited to represent Quebec at a three-day arts and leadership event in Winnipeg, May 30 – June 1, 208. Coon-Come Brien was accompanied by her grandmother – who (being a residential school survivor) provided the inspiration for the winning art project – along with her high school art teacher.
Felicity Coon Come Brien
Kaylynn Neeposh (Poem)
Myles Coon Come
Art program offers alternative for students
Coon-Come Brien’s artistic vision of Reconciliation was completed as part of the Mikw Chiyam arts concentration program, operating at four sites in the Cree School Board. The program is designed to help engage students in their schooling by providing them an alternative to the regular classroom and curriculum, by inviting artists to become “residents” of the school community.
VMS teacher Marcela Henriquez says Felicity’s growth since she entered the Mikw Chiyam program has been “remarkable.”
“Felicity has transformed into a mature, determined and motivated young woman despite everything she's been through,” Henriquez said.
Director of School Operations Kimberly Quinn says the Mikw Chiyam program is now deeply rooted in the Cree School Board.
“We have seen so many success stories of students who find their identity through this program,” she said. “Felicity is a model student and has thrived in this program these last few years.
Coon-Come Brien is on track to graduate this year. As part of the recognition event, she also attended a day of leadership training at Turtle Lodge in Winnipeg.
More recognition for CSB students
Three other students from Voyageur Memorial High School were runners-up to represent the province through their visions of Reconciliation:
- Kayla Voyageur-Blacksmith
- Kaylynn Neeposh
- Myles Coon-Come.