Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows School District elementary student Aiden Mahmoudi recently donated a piece of beadwork art to trustee Dr. Dave Rempel’s bird sanctuary.
Last year Mahmoudi participated in a five-week district challenge program entitled “Diversity & Inclusion” taught by teachers Kristi Lauridsen and Jeff Pinck, and Lisa Shepherd, a district parent who is a Metis artist.
During the program, Shepherd taught Metis beadwork and each student created an art piece.
“While we worked on our beading, we talked about the meaning of diversity and inclusion and why and how we celebrate our individual uniqueness and differences and also the way we can come together as a community,” said Lauridsen.
Shepherd taught the class the concept of “one wrong bead” in Metis beading, meaning that artists usually deliberately place one bead out of pattern to signify that no one is perfect and that imperfection can actually be beautiful.
The students decided to gift their art pieces to community spaces where they could be seen and appreciated by others. Recipients included the Maple Ridge Library, the Pitt Meadows Library, the SD42 District Education Office, Thomas Haney Secondary, and a community member who was moving to another province.
Mahmoudi decided that he wanted to gift his artwork to a local bird sanctuary .
“[Former district deputy superintendent] Laurie Meston mentioned Dave Rempel’s bird sanctuary, and he and I organized the visit. We invited members of last year’s group as well as members of a new challenge group for this year called Living on the Land,” said Lauridsen.
In September, the group of students got a tour of Rempel’s expansive bird sanctuary and then sat down for a presentation ceremony.
“It was wonderful to share this experience with many of the students’ parents there to participate in their children’s learning, so that it was a true community endeavour. Mr. Rempel also emphasized how important he thinks it is to engage in learning outdoors, and it was clear to see the students appreciated this opportunity,” said Lauridsen.