I am Bella Morrisseau Whiskeyjack, I live in Sherwood Park Alberta, and I am 10 years old. I would like to tell you about education before and after COVID-19 on reserves in Western Canada.
Kids and teachers knew about the Coronavirus, and at first the kids made jokes about it, but they stopped once it got serious. Then, kids stopped making jokes and actually started talking about how people around the world were getting very sick from the virus and actually died from it.
Online school was difficult for me because I couldn’t see or hear my classmate’s opinions, but I got used to it and throughout each day it became easier to do my schoolwork. My classmates and I got very bored doing online school; there really wasn’t anywhere to go.
On some reserves, schools were shut down entirely; there was no online school. This was due to two problems: limited access to Internet and computer availability in their community.
- Internet: Reserves did not get Internet because they were in isolation.
- Computer Availability: reserves didn’t have electronics because the nearest town is 4 hours away, plus there was no Internet.
I believe that those children deserved the education that they were supposed to get before the Coronavirus hit. When schools reopen, those kids will have to restart that school year.
Online school wasn’t all bad. At least some kids got an education that will allow them to move on to the next year, but I think we all should have gotten that education. Let’s give a huge thanks to the schools that did give us a proper education, and for all the workers around the world who keep us all safe.
Voice of Bella Morrisseau Whiskeyjack
Bella Morrisseau Whiskeyjack was born in Edmonton, Alberta and is a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation. She lost her father at an early age, and is raised along with her brother by a loving Grandfather of the Grand Rapids Cree. Bella loves school and spending time with her family and friends. She has been recognized for her outstanding writing talents through school awards and wishes to be a writer in the future. She also is interested in veterinary sciences and construction.