Continuing a long-standing partnership with Rotary Club of Saskatoon – Nutana and Meewasin Valley Authority, the Grade 7 and 8 class at St. Anne School—led by teachers Dustin Kasun and Katelyn Stinson—had a celebration at Rotary Park Peace Plaza to install a peace brick honouring Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchu-Tum.
The event, where students shared their learning, capped an inquiry-learning unit about reconciliation. (Inquiry learning combines several traditional subject areas to inquire about a question or series of questions, encouraging students to think critically to solve problems.)
Rigoberta Menchu-Tum, born on January 9, 1959 to a poor Indian peasant family, worked on the family farm, where both adults and children went to pick coffee on the big plantations. As a youth, she became involved in social reform activities through the Catholic Church, and became prominent in the women’s rights movement. She and her family faced persecution after a guerilla organization established itself. She would eventually go into hiding in Guatemala, then flee to Mexico, and became an organizer of resistance to oppression in Guatemala and the struggle for Indian peasant peoples’ rights. Over the years, she has become a leading advocate of Indian rights and ethno-cultural reconciliation, not only in Guatemala but in the Western Hemisphere. Read more about Rigoberta Menchu-Tum.
Following a prayer from Elder Arnold Naytayhow from the Saskatoon Indian and Metis Friendship Centre, dignitaries from the City of Saskatoon (Mayor Charlie Clark), St. Anne School (Principal Chad Gusikoski), Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools (Board of Education Chair Diane Boyko), Rotary Club of Saskatoon – Nutana (Asit Sarkar), and Meewasin Valley Authority (CEO Andrea Lafond) brought greetings and thanks.
The peace brick, along with bricks honouring other dignitaries and Nobel Laureates, can be viewed at the Rotary Park Peace Plaza, west of the Victoria Bridge on the south side of the South Saskatchewan River.