Riverside School Identity
On June 1, 2021, the Board of Trustees changed the name of our school to Riverside School. The name change was made in response to events, including the tragic discovery of the remains of 215 children buried at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
Some of the activities related to the name change happened right away. These included updates to our website, school clothing, interior signage, documents and letterhead. The removal of exterior signs on the building happened over the winter break and we formed our Advisory Group that led the work of the creation of a new school logo. The student body completed the work on the new logo in November 2022.
Timeline since our Name Change
June 1, 2021- September 2021
- Announcement of school renaming on June 21, 2021
- Classroom work begins around renaming and the connection to our commitment to Truth and Reconciliation
- Smudging ceremony with an Elder and CBE leaders to start our journey in a good way
- saa'kokoto (Kainai Elder Randy Bottle) records our name in Blackfoot- see the mp4 recording on this page.
- Consultation for signage removal
- Staff participate in smudging and teachings with Elder saa'kokoto on the land prior to starting the first day of school
- School council meeting | [Meeting Minutes] with Elder saa'kokoto
- Installed temporary Riverside new signage
- Classroom visits begin with Elder saa'kokoto who shares the importance of naming.
- Grade 9 Student Art Installation on Orange Shirt Day
- Riverside's Grade Nine students have devoted time and effort to lay new art across the concrete Langevin signs on and around the school. Our inspiration is about moving forward and finding a way to make an impact on the community of Bridgeland without leaving a permanent mark on the land. The students and teachers found a way to incorporate many of their ideas and their own unique abilities to make the art. This represents all the time the students have spent learning about the past events, reconciling all the actions that have been taken, and it is a symbol of “remembering the past, but moving on towards a better future” to “respect, listen, and learn”. Our hope is to spread awareness about our name change and reconciliation, and we invite you as our community to participate in this journey with all of us.
November - December 2021
- School council meeting
- Students begin to learn about sit spots and the importance of our Blackfoot name- issuihtaa
- Staff Professional Learning Day- "The Land is Our First Teacher"
- Letter to the Community with Updates
- Classroom visits continue with Elder saa'kokoto who shares the importance of naming.
- Invitation to participate in the School Advisory Group to consult on the new logo
- Removal of exterior signs
January - March 2022
- Share the engagement plan with the School Advisory Group and develop questions for a survey
- Grade 4 students receive a grant and start the work of the Grade 4 students for the Indigenous Garden- issuihtaa. The seeds for the sacred plants were given to students to raise over the winter and will be transplanted in the spring of 2023. Our hope is that the students who helped with the design will be the caretakers for years to come.
- Teachers generate questions with each question/ provocation- display in the learning commons alongside images of field studies, connections to the land and connections to each other to begin the work of creating a new logo.
- Teachers use a design thinking process with all classes to surface what it means to be a student at Riverside School. This involves a series of questions over several months with the students producing visuals to post on classroom doors to express their ideas.
- "What does Riverside mean to you?" "What symbols do you associate with Riverside?" "What colors do you see when you think about Riverside?" "What 3 words represent our school?"
- Administration met with Elder saa'kokoto and System Principal, School Improvement
- The Grade 8 student Social Justice group receives a grant and contracts Indigenous Artist Nathan Menguinis to work with them on a mural.
- T"his is a project to commemorate Reconciliation, the Indigenous community, our Indigenous history, and the history yet to be made. This project is for the community, to educate them. We recently changed our school's name and a lot of people don't know exactly why we changed the name and why it's so important. This project was created to take a step toward reconciliation within our community.
At the beginning of this year, grade eight teacher Ms. Derksen got a few of us to brainstorm an idea for a big Reconciliation project. We had an elder come in and talk to us while we figured out what we wanted to do. So for the past few months, we’ve been researching, writing, and presenting. In the end, we’ve decided to make a mural highlighting Reconciliation, made by Tsuut'ina nation artist Nathan Meguinis. With our website, podcast, and mural, hopefully, people will be able to learn more about the importance of reconciliation and be inspired to take action." -the Riverside Social Justice Group
- Here is the google site about our project: https://sites.google.com/educb...
April - June 2022
- The administration teams uses the same Design Thinking Process with the School Advisory Group to begin the work on the new logo with community input.
- Classroom work around renaming continues, students use sit spots and field studies include recognition of Land as Teacher
- Student ideas are gathered and synthesized for the design and sent to students at Central Memorial High School PVA program develop designs to submit for the logo. Three final designs will be selected voted upon.
- Administration and Michelle Ranger from the CBE Indigenous Education Team meet with Elder Bastien to talk about a good way forward- he helps the school with 4 words to live by- Respect, Inclusion, Connection and Kindness. The 4 words are adopted by the student body and are mounted in the foyer alongside the word for "Welcome" in 6 treaty languages.
- Riverside school hosts an empowering evening with the Stardale Womens Group to showcase the good work the organization is doing to provide programs and services to help Indigenous young women and girls overcome systemic barriers. Girls from the group dance and share their lived experiences.
- The learning commons is redesigned to reflect our new way forward with Land As Teacher, Treaty Languages. natural artifacts, a headdress and comfortable meeting spaces for students.
- Teachings continue around the meaning/ symbolism of Riverside- issuihtaa with the 3 final designs selected
September - December 2022
- New Riverside Sign is installed at the front of the school.
- Teachers work with students to encourage students to submit ideas for colors for the logo.
- Orange Shirt Day- students share their learning about "Land as Teacher" with buddy classes.
- November 4-10- voting on the final colors and selection of the logo. More than 100 students submitted ideas for color choices. The selection was narrowed to 15 and then one was chosen that best told our story.
- Big Themes –Connections, Students to the land, Land to the water (river), Learning from the land, Land as the teacher
- Artist Statement. "The circle versions represent compass points (Four Directions in Indigenous teachings). As a Metis person, I think of reconciliation as the connection between the past and how we exist now and in the future. I want to explore elements that represent Riverside and its students as they are in the present day. Feathers now create the circle and the Calgary skyline was added on one side of the mountain. The personification of the “land as teacher” is present.
~Artist name is R, a grade 10 student at Central Memorial High School in the Performing and Visual Arts Program.
- Teachers continue to deepen their understanding and teach students about the importance of our connection to the land during field studies. Much of this work is detailed in student journals.
With much gratitude to the The CBE Indigenous Education Team