In honour of the Cree School Board’s 40thAnniversary, students and staff around Eeyou/Eenou Istchee planted balsam poplar seedlings to signify the strong roots and fruitful growth of Cree education in northern Quebec.
Ceremonies in each of the nine communities June 21 and 22 replicated the inaugural planting outside Wabannutao Eeyou School in Eastmain on June 5, 2018, when Grand Chief Abel Bosum along with chiefs from various communities and other dignitaries joined board Chairperson Kathleen Wootton and Director-General Abraham Jolly.
In his remarks that day, Jolly said the tree was emblematic of the strong roots the school board has put down over its first 40 years, and the hope and promise educators have for the future of Cree education.
“Nurturing these trees,” Jolly said at the ceremony in Eastmain, “is like nurturing and caring for our education system. If we look after it, and give it what it needs, it too will lay down strong roots. We may not be here in another 40 years, but this tree will be, reminding us of the way we cared for our education system.”
The plantings also coincided with National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada.