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St. John's High School build a warming hut

January 17, 2023
St. Johns students working on the warming hut project.

Students at St. John's High School are putting the finishing touches to Azhe'O, the warming hut, which means "to paddle backwards" in Ojibwe. 

Their design was selected in the Warming Huts v.2023: An Arts + Architecture Competition on Ice which received 122 submissions from 33 countries. It is one of six new designs that will soon join old favourites on the Nestaweya River Trail at the Forks. 

Azhe'o is constructed with the purpose of exploring the history of the canoe and paddle from their inception. 

Throughout this land we now call Canada, Indigenous peoples once designed and built canoes and paddles, contributing the resiliency required to adapt to the diverse conditions each nation faced. As they traversed the lands and waterways, the canoe was a necessity for their prosperity and strength.

The paddle served as a canvas for expression, a rite of passage for the youth, and as a connection to the earth.

Although the canoe and paddle are icons of Canada today, the students at St. John’s High School hope Azhe'o can serve as a reminder of what they meant to the First Peoples of Canada.

The warming hut will be assembled by the students, and the teacher, Aaron Cyr, at the Forks on Wednesday, January 25 and will be unveiled for public viewing on Friday, January 27, 2023  

Thank you to the Forks for providing this unique opportunity for WSD Students to showcase their skills and talent. Here are some photos and video of the students and teachers work on building this wonderful piece of art and Indigenous history-  

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