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Paul W. Kaeser High School builds garbage bins for Elders

Craig Walsh’s carpentry class to build 30 bins this year to give to local Elders

FORT SMITH, NT – Paul W. Kaeser High School students from Grade 7 to 12 in Craig Walsh’s woodshop classes have joined forces to build approximately 30 garbage bins this year to donate to local Elders.

“The students measure and cut the wood, then stain and assemble the bins,” explained Walsh. “Each class picks up where the previous class had left off, so dozens of students contribute to each bin by the time it is complete. When a few bins are completed, students personally deliver them to Elders in Fort Smith.”

Principal Al Karasiuk heard about similar projects in other communities, and decided it would be a great way to teach students about the importance of community, giving back, and teamwork. The project is also closely aligned with the Dene Laws, which teach students to share what they have, to help each other, and to be respectful of their Elders among other things.

“The Elders who have received garbage bins are all very happy,” said Karasiuk, who noted about five bins have already been distributed.

“The project also provides a tangible way for students to honour their Elders, and a great way for students to see their craftsmanship on display in the community.”

Karasiuk noted that if any Fort Smith Elders are interested in receiving a bin, they can call the Town of Fort Smith (867-872-8400), the Fort Smith Metis Office (867-872-2643), or Salt River First Nation (867-872-2986.

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