Canadian author Christy Jordan-Fenton visited and read to students at C.P. Blakely Elementary School recently. The author shared stories she co-wrote with her former mother-in-law Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, about Margaret’s experiences as a young Inuk girl attending a residential school.

The author spent several hours at the school, interacting with different age groups of students last week.

When C.P. Blakely’s librarian sent a request for Jordan-Fenton to visit the school, she had no idea if she would get a response, or that Jordan-Fenton had once attended C.P. Blakely as a child.

“When she responded that she used to attend school here, and that she would love to visit, it was so exciting,” said Janet Reddekopp, Learning Commons Technician, C.P. Blakely. “Her books help us explore the topic of residential schools in an age appropriate way.”

“When I saw the invitation I thought ‘Oh my goodness. I used to go to school at C.P.Blakely. Yes I’ll come,” said Jordan-Fenton.

photo of students

Jordan-Fenton’s mother-in-law passed away several years ago, but Jordan-Fenton is committed to keeping her stories alive.

Jordan-Fenton said, “There are two reasons I share Margaret’s story. First, because it lets younger people know, in age appropriate ways, about residential schools. Also because the way Margaret made it through hardships, and the tools she used, can help children learn how to get through their own hardships. Margaret was interested in helping children have hope. She wanted children to see themselves as heroes.”