(October 12, 2018) Students at Kenora Catholic will soon be wrapped in warmth and security because the board's Elder in Residence, Isobel White, is on an important mission to bring comfort to the children. She's delivering a sacred blanket to each school at Kenora Catholic.
"The blankets are a sacred gift to the schools, and that is what we (Shelly Tom, First Nation, Metis and Inuit Education Coordinator) prayed to the Creator for in a pipe ceremony at my house," she explained. "We did a ceremony for the blankets asking for them to become sacred, for the children to get warm."
White explained the story behind the blankets.
"I am a firm believer in dreams and visions because my grandpa was a drum carrier, and that is how I grew up. When I started working for Abinoonji Child and Family Services, there was a blanket sitting there so I asked about it. The Director told me it was a vision and a dream from a lady at Wauzhushk Onigum who dreamt about the blanket. The dream was to keep the children warm and there had to be a blanket. So there was a blanket made."
Five blankets will be gifted, one to each school at Kenora Catholic to bring comfort and support to the school community. White explains that the blankets are not just for the children.
"I hope the schools will use the blankets for the children when they are acting up or sad. You can tell when they are needed and when the children are going through something. They aren't just for the children; they are there for everyone."
Isobel White joined the Kenora Catholic District School Board in September 2018 as the Elder in Residence. She has been visiting classrooms, sharing knowledge, stories and traditional teachings with students and providing guidance to staff and teachers since her arrival. Kenora Catholic is blessed to have her as part of the family.