Isfeld student wins national essay contest

Haley Richardson's piece on Franklin Expedition stands out

Haley Richardson, a Grade 12 student at Mark R. Isfeld Secondary School has won the grand Prize in the Grade 9-12 category of the A&E Lives That Make a Difference Essay Contest.

 

Richardson’s essay on the Franklin Expedition was chosen from thousands of submissions received this year for the nationwide contest. As a grand prize winner, Richardson will receive $3,000 and her teacher, Shawn Holland, will receive $1,000 for use in his classroom.

Richardson’s essay focuses on the excitement and significance of finding a lost piece of Canada’s history.  She described the role Inuit legends played in its success, describing how “it showed that the aboriginal mythology was more than just stories, but as much a part of our history as anything else.

“The Franklin Expedition was a huge international success story for Canada” said Dr. Libby O’Connell, senior vice-president, A&E.  “Haley’s essay captures both the excitement of the nation, and the significance of the discovery. Her eloquent writing and unique perspective made her essay standout amongst her peers.”

Here is Haley Richardson’s essay:

There can be little doubt that a significant portion of modern Canada was founded on exploration. This was especially evident this year, as the Franklin Expedition became the forefront of our news. Everyone from the Prime Minister down were caught up in the excitement of finding a lost piece of our history, the legacy of a man who had become a legend of our country. Yet in some ways, Franklin’s impact goes beyond our past, and brings to light many of the ideas shaping our present. Namely, the respect for the oral history and culture of our aboriginal peoples.

For years, scientists and adventurers alike had been searching for Franklin’s lost ships, but it wasn’t until they listened to the legends passed down by the Inuit that they actually succeeded. It showed that the aboriginal mythology was more than just stories, but as much a part of our history as anything else. Far too often have we fallen into the trap that Canada’s history began with explorers like Franklin, and neglected including the aboriginal into our collective consciousness. It is fitting that this realization should come in the form of Franklin, as shows that even our explorer’s history, something we had previously seen as the definitive beginning of our nation, is inextricably linked to our Native Peoples.

In a way, Franklin’s Expedition has made all Canadians, aboriginal and non-aboriginal alike, realize that we are more than just explorers. We are storytellers and fable-makers, and that our history–and by extension our culture–is a mosaic, rather than a photograph. Consequentially, Franklin and his Expedition in the 19th century has made us more aware of how we need to redirect our focus in the 21st. There is still much for us to learn, and more places we can learn it from.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cumberland is considering downtown densification proposals, and with that comes questions around parking, among other things. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Water bottling ban, parking key changes for Cumberland zoning

Bylaw on amendments still need adoption following March 2 hearing

Arzeena Hamir, working her booth at the Comox Valley Farmers Market. LUSH Valley was recognized last month as a partner of the year by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. Photo by Bill Jorgensen
LUSH Valley recognized for collaboration with Comox Valley Farmers’ Market

They won Partner of the Year award by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets

Chelsea Harry was last seen Feb. 21. Photo via Comox Valley RCMP
Comox Valley RCMP seeking help locating a missing woman

Missing person last seen in Courtenay on Feb. 21

A Coast Range Cannabis store has been approved for the Crown Isle Shopping Centre in Courtenay. Photo submitted
Courtenay council approves seventh cannabis retailer

Coast Range Cannabis to open second store in the Comox Valley

A map of the Village Forest Lands near Cumberland. Image, Village of Cumberland
Cumberland adopts forest management direction statement

Less detailed than full plan, documents sets out decision-making for village-owned land

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

One person is dead after a camper van caught fire Thursday morning in Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
One person dead after vehicle fire in Beacon Hill Park

Victoria firefighters were already extinguishing the fire when police arrived on scene

(Government of B.C.)
Backcountry skiers are dwarfed by the mountains as they make their way along a mountain ridge near McGillivray Pass Lodge located in the southern Chilcotin Mountains of British Columbia, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012. Avalanche Canada has issued a special warning to people who use the backcountry in the mountains of western Alberta and eastern British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Avalanche Canada special warning for mountains in western Alberta, eastern B.C.

Avalanche Canada also says everyone in a backcountry party needs essential rescue gear

A recently finished $4.3-million taxiway extension at the Victoria International Airport (not pictured) is unusable because of a blind spot. (Black Press Media file photo)
Blind spot leaves Victoria airport’s new $4.3-million taxiway extension unusable

Solution has been put on hold by COVID-19 pandemic, says airport authority

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

Most Read