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by Michael Christianson
On March 21, The Dryden Area Anti-Racism Network (DAARN) celebrated the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by presenting the Leonard Skye Building Bridges Award to the Keewatin Patricia District School Board, Dryden High School, Lillian Berg, New Prospect and Open Roads Schools. The City of Dryden recognized the day with a proclamation and raising the United Nations flag at Dryden’s City Hall.
The namesake of the award Leonard Skye was there to present the award to the KPDSB and their schools.
“It’s kind of ironic, the school board didn’t give me any recognition and now I’m recognizing them,” said Skye. “I was surprised and when I thought about it I worked hard to get the Indigenous people on the map here, not only me but the supporting cast like the drummers and the school board, I was a trustee of the school board before I came on board and I thought I’d make a difference in the classroom. My classes were always noisy. In residential school you didn’t dare speak a word they suppressed the laughter, your spirit as a person laughing and that, as a child you were suppressed but my classes I let them free and wild and made learning fun for them and they always come to me and say Mr. Skye with respect and they say they have fun in my class learning, not being suppressed.”
The Leonard Sky Building Bridges awards has been given out by DAARN since 2015 for everyday efforts in enhancing diversity, respect, harmony, equality and humility; thus recognizing the importance of self dignity, self-esteem and the equality of all peoples.