Something terrible occurred here in Thunder Bay from 2000 to 2011. Seven First Nations students died - five of those youth were found drowned in rivers in the area. The youth were here from remote communities to attend school at Dennis Franklin Cromarty First Nations High School. Like so many other young First Nations students, these kids were here in town on their own to attend school because their communities don’t have the resources to provide the schooling.
What is more grave is that very little was done to investigate further why seven students from remote communities died over an 11-year period. An inquest finally started in 2015 and the jury is expected in June to deliver recommendations for keeping First Nations students safe.
One of the students who died, Reggie Bushie, 15, started a mural at the high school in 2007 - the year he was found drowned in the McIntyre River. That mural stayed unfinished in the halls of the school for nine years, until this year when students and their art teacher helped finish it. The art, shown above, is wonderfully done and great care was taken to preserve some of Reggie’s work.
You can read more about this story here.