Published on June 7, 2022 at 4:29 p.m.
Four local students who submitted poetry to Gimaa’s Allyship Poetry Contest have been recognized and recognized for their artistic achievements. MICHEL SALEM PHOTO
Four Halton Region School students who submitted poetry to Gimaa’s Allyship Poetry Competition have been recognized and recognized for their artistic achievements.
Gimaa (Chief) R. Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of Credit First Nation (MCFN) partnered with the Community Classroom program of the Oakville Community Foundation to launch the poetry contest in March.
Gimaa Laforme shared her own poem titled “Nii jiiwhich means “friend” in Anishinaabemowin.
He then invited students from all Halton Public Schools and MCFN K-12 students to share their own poetry about what friendship or alliance looks like or means to them.
The four winners, Jasmine, Nimkii, Mabel and Nat, were recognized on stage during the Debwewin: Truth of the Land performance on May 24.
That night they read and presented their poetry live and on screen to the crowd in person and live.
The four winners were also recognized on the Debwewin: The Oakville Truth Project website, the Community Classroom website, and in the printed Debwewin: Truth of the Land curriculum.
“I would like to sincerely thank all the young people who participated and who courageously shared their talents with us through their works of art,” said Gimaa Laforme. “I encourage each of them to continue to make their voices heard, art can and must change the world! I look forward to many more of these contests.
Students who entered the competition were allowed to present their poem in whatever way they were most comfortable with, including oral and written expression, in the form of a poem, rap, spoken word and other creative means.
The four winners were chosen by a jury. Nearly two dozen students submitted nominations.
“We were so impressed with the creativity shown by all of the young people in our community who entered the contest,” said Frances Pace, Director of Fundraising and Community Engagement at Oakville Community Foundation. “Congratulations to our four students who were recognized for their artistic achievements and thank you to all the students who shared their artistic talent.
Gimaa Laforme’s poem can be viewed and read online.
All student creations can be viewed on the Debwewin: The Oakville Truth Project website.
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