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Students Showcase Talents Through Project with Indigenous Artist

A new art display will greet all who enter the Canada Way Learning Centre. Students created it under the guidance of Indigenous artist Trenton Pierre – also known as sɬə́məxʷ – from the Katzie First Nation. His work blends graffiti techniques with traditional Coast Salish design.

Pierre shared his own personal story and journey toward becoming an artist. Brandon Curr, Director of Instruction and lead for Indigenous Education in Burnaby Schools, says it was Pierre’s approach that made the difference:

He really resonated with the students. The teacher shared that after he spoke,
every hand shot up when they were asked who wanted to participate in the project.
It was a real confidence builder for some of our kids who struggle to see success
in school.”

The group of 24 students – who are from our Royal Oak and Take a Hike Learning Pathways Programs – worked together with Pierre to come up with the theme. They then worked in smaller groups over two days to create their own piece that would come together with the others to form the whole. While adopting the authentic and unique style of their project leader, the students used their own personal journeys to drive their designs.

Curr couldn’t be happier with the results.

The talent of these students is evident in their work.”


In the final project the students’ individual works surround a central piece created by Pierre. They revealed it at an unveiling ceremony held in September to honour their work.

It will be installed at the main entryway of the Canada Way Learning Centre as both a way of welcoming guests to the building and showcasing the gifts and talents of our students in the two programs.

Posted September 2019