Student group develops better understanding of Indigenous issues while giving back to the community

Project for the People RDPC, a student-run group at the high school dedicated to giving back to Thompson, contributed by making sure many people were well-fed and stocked up with supplies during the first week of June.

They started off by delivering meals to the homeless shelter, MYS, Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation Group homes and the Thompson Crisis Centre June 1, then gave away 180 meals in front of R.D. Parker Collegiate in a drive-through feast the following day.

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The drive-through meals prepared by the Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre were handed out over a period of just 25 minutes.

“At a time like this when we have to stay home and keep our distance from people it’s just nice to get out and do something nice for our community,” said group member Morgan Moore, who’s in Grade 12.

In addition to the meals, the group also delivered care packages to the crisis centre and equipment for summer games and activities to BGC Thompson.

“After we’re doing the donations, seeing the smiles on people’s faces and their thank yous, it means a lot to us,” says Keashae Masters, also in Grade 12.

The activities of the group help them earn curriculum credits for service learning as part of their class on current topics in First Nations, Métis and Inuit studies and they are funded by a grant the class applied for and received from RBC.

Having about $15,000 and ensuring that it’s spent in a way that helps organizations that need it is a big responsibility for the students.

“At the beginning we didn’t know what to do with it,” says Masters. “All of us coming up with ideas and actually pulling through with it was nice.”

“This whole thing has been going on for months now and I think we’ve handled it pretty good,” says Moore, noting that some surprise awards Thompson are going to be handed out by the group soon.

“The kids have been doing a great job to make sure that money they spend, as much as possible, is going back into local organizations because it’s been shown and they know that’s recycling money inside our community and making it go farther,” says their teacher Michael Thorbourne.

Organizing meal giveaways and donations has given the students greater appreciation for hw much work goes into putting on such an event, between planning and brainstorming and communicating with the other groups involved.

It’s also given them more knowledge about the issues involving Indigenous people that exist in Thompson and, for Masters, greater understanding about the work of a family member who works with vulnerable people.

“I know my mom works in that community but I wasn’t sure what she really does,” she explains. “I think Im more involved in that part, seeing what she does with her work. I think it’s a hard job to see all that.”

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