Rothesay students learn about Reconciliation through the visual arts 

Rothesay students learn about Reconciliation through the visual arts 

The Joanne Project – Massive, temporary art installation  


Rothesay, September 29, 2022 Rothesay High School students have partnered with prominent New Brunswick artist Bonny Hill to create a large-scale, temporary art installation recognizing the tragic history of the Sixities Scoop and bringing awareness to the Every Child Matters movement. This is the second in a series of art pieces, with Quispamsis Middle School students completing the powerful Minda Project in June.

During the “Sixties Scoop” (1950s – 1980s), approximately 20,000 Indigenous children were taken from their families and placed in the child welfare system for fostering and adoption. As a result, many of these children were deprived of a connection to their land, culture, and heritage. In some cases, children were placed for adoption without the consent of their families or communities. Rothesay High School students are learning about the historic roots and modern-day impacts of the Sixties Scoop by exploring it through the visual arts and hearing stories of survivors, such as Joanne Munroe.  Joanne, the sister of Minda Burley who was the subject of the first art installation, was taken from her Cree family in Western Canada as a young child and moved to New Brunswick with her adopted family. Students will hear her first-hand account of this experience.

If you would like to see the Documentary on the Minda Project, visit this link:

Their artwork will encompass nearly 8k six-inch cardboard squares, individually hand-painted by the students which, once combined, will depict Joanne Munroe’s portrait as a child. Intricately assembled across the front field of Rothesay High School, the massive mosaic will measure 45’ x 47’.

“Learning opportunities that involve cross-curricular and non-traditional experiences like this are a positive way to involve our students in their learning. Combining subject areas like visual arts, social sciences, and respect and diversity is a powerful way to engage students and to give them the opportunity to apply learning in new ways,” says Meghan Barton, visual arts teacher at Rothesay High School and co-organizer of the installation. “The Joanne Project has been a meaningful way to address truth and reconciliation with our students.”

The students will construct the mosaic throughout the day on Thursday, September 29, meticulously arranging each square, one-by-one, on the Rothesay High School front field. The installation will be assembled for one day only. Throughout the day Thursday, the community is invited to attend a public viewing, and this will be the only chance to see the completed mosaic.  Thursday evening, the artwork will be disassembled, and the cardboard squares will be passed on to a new school to be re-used in the creation of another portrait of a Sixties Scoop survivor.


Media are invited to attend:

Rothesay High School – The Joanne Project 

Date:                    Thursday, September 29 (Rain dates October 3 or 4) 

Times:                 9:30am – 6:00pm – Student Installation in progress  

                             6:00pm – Closing Remarks  

                             Public Viewing throughout the day. Media welcome. 

Location:            Rothesay High School, 61 Hampton Rd. Rothesay, NB 


About Rothesay High School 

RHS is located in Rothesay, NB and has a population of 550 students in grades 9-12. Rothesay High School and the RedHawks have a proud tradition of creating a home away from home for its students and staff. Since its opening during the 1997-1998 school year, RHS has educated the youth of the town of Rothesay and provided countless opportunities in sports, the arts and student leadership. RHS is committed to increasing student engagement by embedding global competencies such as critical thinking, citizenship, entrepreneurship, innovation, personalized learning and leadership in teaching and learning


For media inquiries please contact:

Jessica Hanlon
Director of Communications, ASD-S;
(506) 658-5373

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