When the bell rang for morning recess yesterday at Prince Charles Elementary School, George Littlechild had to push four 10-year-old boys from their desks and outside to play.
“Go on,” he said. “It’ll still be here when you get back.”
The renowned First Nations artist, who holds degrees from Red Deer College and the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, took a day out of his busy schedule to conduct a mixed-media workshop at the school, with students in Grades 4 to 6.
Littlechild came at the invitation of the school’s librarian, Deloris Jack.
“We have always admired his work,” Jack said.
“I heard he was in St. Albert and I emailed and asked if he would like to come to our school for a day. Everyone was very excited to have him here.”
Approximately 95 per cent of the students attending Prince Charles are of aboriginal ancestry.
The vast majority travel by yellow bus, some from as far away as Hobbema, to attend the Awasis Urban Aboriginal Program.
Teachers chose 25 students who showed an interest in art to spend the day learning from Littlechild.
Farrah Bear, 10, was one of them. She was working on a painting of an eagle carrying prey, a tree and flowers.
“I like his work a lot,” she said. “I have looked at his books with my family at home. I would like to be an artist, because I think art is really important to make us think.”