Indigenous author inspires Joussard School students

Joussard School students in Grades 2,3, 5 and 6 get in a photograph with Indigenous author Christy Jordan-Fenton, standing in the back centre, while teacher Julia Sander stands at the back right

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Students at Joussard School welcomed Indigenous author Christy Jordan-Fenton on April 29.

Originally from a farm in rural Alberta, her childhood dreams included being a cowgirl, dancing with Gene Kelly and writing stories, says a High Prairie School Division news release dated May 7.

Joussard learning support teacher Meghan Adams says the students enjoyed the special guest.

“It’s always wonderful to have an in-person visit from an author to inspire our students, especially one who carries such an important message,” Adams says.

“Our students appreciated the readings Christy did from her own books.”

All students from kindergarten to Grade 6 had the opportunity to hear the author.

“It is always fun when the students realize the words on the pages came from the person in front of them,” Adams says.

Her books are based on real-life stories shared with her by her Inuvialuit mother-in-law Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, who shares her experiences of being a student in an Indian residential school.

Jordan-Fenton is thrilled to be able to preserve those stories in written form.

After years of travelling and studying, she settled in Fort St. John, B.C., to raise her family and establish a farm.

Her desire to raise her children with a healthy self-esteem brought her back to her passion for Indigenous issues.

Besides fulfilling her dreams, she has become an author of four published books, an accomplished saddle bronc rider, and a rancher that showcases her unwavering determination and inspiring students.

Jordan-Fenton’s academic journey took her from studying peace, war and diplomacy at Norwich University in Vermont.

She was awarded a prestigious Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship.

Jordan-Fenton used the scholarship to further her studies at the University of Queens- land in Australia to broaden her horizons and deepen her understanding of global issues.

All students entered a draw and one student from each grade was gifted a signed copy of one of Jordan-Fenton’s books, donated by HPSD Indigenous education team.

HPSD thanks all who worked hard to arranged the author’s visit and Jordan-Fenton for sharing her experiences and encouraging students to follow their dreams.

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