BRANTFORD – Hoping to send support to Attawapiskat after learning about the youth suicide rate, École Fairview students at the Sky Acres Campus will be sending approximately 180 paper cranes with a message of hope written on their wings.
Last month at the school’s monthly assembly, the focus was on First Nations.
The Grade 6 students performed a First Nations Readers Theatre about nature conservancy, and after hearing many recent news reports about the youth suicide crisis in Attawapiskat, Myah Blundon, a Grade 8 student, decided she wanted to add something as well.
She, along with the two Grade 6 students, Tula Germann Hind and Kadence Tolhurst who helped make the origami cranes, came up with the idea to send the cranes to the young people in need. They distributed one paper bird to each student in the school with the instructions to write a positive note or word on the cranes.
“They [the cranes] were collected at the end of last week and are now going to make their way to Attawapiskat,” said Sarah Gasparotto, a Grade 6 teacher at the school.
Alexandra, a student in the sixth grade at École Fairview said, “Sky Acres is not only helping those in our community, but thinking and supporting others as well.”
In Japanese folklore, cranes are said to represent longevity as well as symbolize happiness, good luck and peace. This makes the choice of folding cranes very symbolic and each of the students were given a crane to write their messages of hope. Their cranes and messages will be sent to the Attawapiskat community in the coming week.
“We need to make sure that we help out everybody in the Canadian community too,” said Derek, another Grade 6 student enrolled at the school.
Attawapiskat First Nation declared a state of emergency on April 9 in response to 28 suicide attempts in March and 100 since last September, seven of which involved children under 14. There are several reasons why the state of emergency was issued, the lack of access to common, everyday necessities like hygienic products and food being one of them.