October 28th, 2015 Last Updated on: October 15th, 2016
You might remember we shared the story of Shannen Koostachin, a young Cree activist who tragically died in a car accident at the age of 15. Koostachin, from the Attawapiskat First Nation, led a campaign for safe schools and Aboriginal education and was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize. She also served as an inspiration for DC Comics who were looking to develop a female First Nations character.
Five years after her passing, her family wanted to honor her memory with a beautiful statue. Relative Jules Koostachin reached out to sculptor Tyler Fauvelle for the project and he was immediately interested. CBC News interviewed Fauvelle about the piece and the unveiling of the statue in New Liskeard, Ontario.
Fauvelle said he was inspired by “her beauty and her strength and determination.”
Fauvelle said the work was challenging for him, because she was still so vivid in people's memories. “She had to be recognizable but also had to embody the spirit of her message,” Fauvelle said.
Last week Fauvelle showed off his work for the first time at an unveiling ceremony. While he's attended several unveilings, this one was different, he said. “There wasn't a sound. No one spoke. Then I saw all the tears, and the quiet smiles. It was an emotional reminder that this proud young activist, admired by so many, had also been a daughter, a sister, a friend.”
If you'd like to find out more about Shannen's Dream and how you can help the schools for First Nations children please visit http://www.fncaringsociety.com/shannens-dream.
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