Sturgeon Lake Central School
K-12 EDUCATION PROGRAM
Vision/Mission Statement: Our community believes in working together to promote respect, and integrity, as well as providing a quality, holistic education for our students
- Through a team approach, we want to develop more community involvement
- Develop and foster approach to Cree culture and language instruction
- Building positive student behaviors
- In 1973 the community pulled its students out of surrounding schools because they felt at a disadvantage due to constant commuting. The First Nation had no school, but used 12 houses in clusters of three to teach their youth
- In 1981 the school began construction
- At first, it was a kitchen and gym and whatever space there was for teaching quickly became overcrowded
- In 1995 additions were funded and completed, but extra space was still needed
- 27 years later the Sturgeon Lake Central School is a reality
- The school had its official grand opening on September 18, 2008
- In June 2005, the renovations began and there local labourers contributed more than 25,000 hours
- Two-thirds of the building was completely rebuilt, while one-third of it is an addition, including 14 new classrooms
- The major changes include a larger library, science lab, and the return of an industrial arts and home economics space
- The school is utilizing environmentally friendly heating practices called geothermal heat
FIRST NATION ARTIST – WILLIE ERMINE
The painting in the Gym wall depicts the Cree spiritual structure using woodland style art form. The main symbols of the Cree spiritual structure are depicted in each quadrant of the painting. Symbolically for the Cree people, the east is represented by the sun, the thunderbirds are in the south, the west represents the 4 winds and the north is the place of the buffalo. The central circle is source of all energy and life and represents the Creative power with energy that radiates to each of the directions. The colors used are also distinctive for Cree representation, although these colors may vary with purpose. Generally speaking, the colors used are representative of Cree use of color, with the eastern sunrise being associated with yellow, the south is blue to represent the water cycle, the west is green and the north is red because of the buffalo symbol. The art form used is that of the woodland style with its bold dark outlines and bright, representative colors.
The lines that link the symbols are representative of the relationships between beings and at times show the power energies they emit. The rays of the sun are distinct showing its power, the thunderbirds are have their symbolized form, the west is represented by the circle to depict the 4 winds that surround us and give us life, and the buffalo clearly has the backbone and hair that is general for the style of art. The woodland style of art comes to us from the rock paintings of the north and the style was made famous by Norval Morriseau. The art form is universal with the same style being used in many indigenous places around the world.
Here in Sturgeon Lake, we have our own rock painting that shows this style and this sacred site is known about by only the very select few. Additionally, the whole painting is also suggestive of a floral pattern. The blooming of the flower is the spiritual call for the unfolding of the children’s potential, that the children will blossom in this place of learning. The symbols, representation and colors will be imprinted in the minds of young people to know that our sources of power are much bigger than us.
The style of art uses the woodland art form as described above. The wholeness of the art in the room suggests that there is a flow of energy that contributes to our lives and that we as people depend on this energy to sustain us. The main wall depicts animals that are known to our people. The animals themselves are given life by the energies of the eastern sun and in turn these animals form and work together to bring life to our people. The life they provide is always seeking our participation and this idea is represented by the bird that flies off from the collective body of the life giving animals. The reconstruction of rock paintings is clearly intended to depict the family and in keeping with the minds of the Elders about the value of family and children.
The family in the scene is embedded in nature with a dependence on the life giving energies that surround us, including the animals. As an Elders’ room, this theme is clearly meant to remind people that the elders carry this knowledge of energies and that the children will remember the truths of our people through story and art form.
Phone: 306-764-5506 Fax: 306-764-0322
Address: 721 White Buffalo Lane, Sturgeon Lake, Sturgeon Lake. S0J 2E1