RRC holds a week of events to get students talking about Truth and Reconciliation.

By: Brett Kelly

The smell of bannock wafted through the air at the Notre Dame Campus on Friday.

A small group performed music and dances in front of the library.

The Indigenous Market drew students with music, jewellery, art, instruments, and bannock from a variety of vendors

Donna Bear (left) helps fellow crafting instructor Sue Thiebaut (right) with the leather binding on the outer edge of a dream catcher./BRETT KELLY

Truth and Reconciliation Week was put together by the Indigenous Student Supports and Community Relations with the support of the Students’ Association. With events and guest speakers throughout the week at both the Exchange District and NDC. 

The events were to educate students on Indigenous culture and history. The Campus Store sold orange “Every Child Matters” shirts and red “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls” shirts to acknowledge the history of residential schools and the ongoing issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Students at Red River College’s Exchange campus make dreamcatchers at the Learn to Make a Dream Catcher workshop on Tuesday, Oct 1./BRETT KELLY

The EDC held one of two Learn to Make a Dream Catcher workshops. 

“Some people sell these and they don’t really know what they are,” said Sue Thiebaut,  one of the crafting instructors.  

Sue Thiebaut, wrapping her dream catcher in the thread that will create the intricate design inside./BRETT KELLY

Thiebaut played up-beat music as students tried the craft. They used different colours of leather wrapping, beads, and coloured stones. Thiebaut advised students on different techniques and encouraged them to be creative.

“Everyone’s dream catcher will look different and that’s great,” she said.

At the Indigenous Market, Donna Bear was excited to show students and faculty some of the hand-crafted drums available at her vendor table. 

Donna Bear (in red) shows Red River College faculty and students hand-crafted drums at the Indigenous Market Friday, Oct 4 on RRC Notre Dame campus./BRETT KELLY

“You may never get to see something like this again,” she said.

At one end of the market, a wall was dedicated to messages of reconciliation written by students on red paper dresses.

Students at Red River College’s Notre Dame campus hang red dresses with messages in commemoration of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Honouring and Awareness Day./BRETT KELLY

Each message a reflection on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Honouring and Awareness Day. 

Some people attended the market were wearing moose hide. 

Wearing moose hide, according to the grassroots movement the Moose Hide Campaign, is a sign of commitment to honour women and children and prevent violence against them. 

A student’s call for more awareness on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Honouring and Awareness Day./BRETT KELLY

At the end of the week, the SA collected the red dress messages to mail to the federal government.