Photo of young people in front of Stanley Mission in northern Saskatchewan

A scenic, wintry view of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Stanley Mission. From left are Viviane Kirby, Jonah Folkman, Jesse Korner, Cole Osiowi, Rev. Brody Albers and Rev. Jordan Draper. Photo by Photo by Rev. Brody Albers

Halifax students experience life in northern Saskatchewan

Published in the January 2024 issue of The Saskatchewan Anglican, the newspaper for the three Anglican dioceses in Saskatchewan

By Mary Brown

PRINCE ALBERT – Many of the clergy in the diocese were students of King’s College in Halifax, such as Anthony Burton, Michael Hawkins, David Harris, Jordan Draper, David Butorac, to name a few.

Four students, Cole Osiowi, Jonah Folkman, Viviane Kirby and Jesse Korner came for a visit to the Diocese of Saskatchewan recently.

They arrived on Nov. 14, and drove up to La Ronge the next day to attend a funeral. On Thursday they took a trip to Stanley Mission. Friday was the start of the youth retreat, which they attended.

They had a good time at the youth retreat, but I think, from what they said, the trip to Stanley Mission was their favourite.

Of course, you don’t go to La Ronge without going into Robertson’s Store, where Viviane bought thread and beads to create her own beadwork, and Jesse bought some tea. The funeral they attended was in the hall.

There were not a lot of people at it, about 80-100, which is small for a northern funeral. The death was gang-related, which might explain the low attendance.

Brody recalled that the message was for forgiveness and not retaliation. The students were able to enjoy a feast of moose meat and all different kinds of Bannock, even one with cinnamon and raisins.

Due to the condition of the ice on the water, they were not able to take a boat ride to the old church of Holy Trinity in Stanley Mission.

Deacon Eugene Merasty hosted their visit. He took them to the Land-Based Centre, which was near his trap line.

Once a week as part of their curriculum, students from Grade 4 and up, attend classes at the centre, where they learn to set rabbit snares, how to cut down trees to feed rabbits, to attract them, they learn how to live off the land. This helps the younger generation to understand how their ancestors survived and how they might support themselves in the future.

The catalyst for creating the school came out of a rash of multiple youth suicides in 2016. I think the students from Halifax were wishing they could go to such a school.

They were quite impressed to see the kids learning how to tan skins, trap and butcher their food, make snowshoes, do woodworking and making Bannock.

We hope that the Kings’ College pupils will have had so much fun that they will want to come back in the summer to lead VBS classes in the diocese.

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