At the April 25, 2022, Board of Education meeting, a new visual representation of Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools’ commitment to Indigenous participation and influence in Catholic education was revealed.
Creation of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education (FNMIE) logo, crafted by Métis artist Leah Dorion, is the result of a year-and-a-half-long process that engaged FNMIE Learning Community members, school representatives, and division Elders to reflect on core values and ways in which those could be visualized.
The title of the original piece of art is Growing Faith. In the artist’s statement, Dorion stated, “This artwork represents the sacred tree of life teachings as a symbol of faith and how faith leads to love and growth. The First Nations medicine wheel and circle of life symbols are integrated into every aspect of the design. Métis symbols, an abstract Métis sash, and hearts are incorporated into the tree to show the interconnectedness of everyone within the tree of life. The two teepees represent our shared community as we all need the earth and each other to have love and growth in our world.”
The framed artwork is on display in the board room at the division’s downtown Saskatoon board office.
Dorion’s art is highly detailed and designed to have movement and flow. Much of this detail is intended to incorporate elements of Indigenous beadwork that honours First Nations and Métis women ancestors and the traditional arts. In an effort to preserve the logo’s artistic detail, while balancing various practical uses of the logo, a “simplified” version of the logo was created.
In a report to the board, Superintendent Gordon Martell stated, “The new FNMIE logo reaffirms our commitment to reconciliation with First Nations, Métis and Inuit students, families, organizations, and communities, and is complimentary to Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools’ existing division logo.”
The vibrant and deeply symbolic visual expression is intended to represent the distinct work of the FNMIE team within Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools and the broader community. It’s an important reminder that, as a division, we are part of the broader community, and the logo is a symbol of presence, relationship, and responsibility.
A comprehensive visual standards was created to accompany the logo and direct appropriate use.