The link between the battlefields of Europe, Brigden and students in Saskatchewan


The Bridgen Legion is pitching in to help students in Saskatchewan they have never met.
The legion will raise money through a meat raffle Feb. 3 to help 10 students from La Loche Dene High School go to France to see the battle sites of the world wars.
The school, which two years ago was thrust into the news when a teen shot and killed four people and injured seven others, is the workplace of Brigden native Willow MacSorley.
The LCCVI graduate has been teaching in the school for several years and history is one of her passions. She’s one of the people leading the students on the trip in 2019.
“I have always had a love of history. I had some really great history teachers when I went to LCCVI,” she tells The Independent.
After getting into teaching, MacSorley became involved in a summer program for history teachers to tour the battlefields with the hope the experience will help them bring history to life in the classroom.
For MacSorley, it also sparked an idea to bring her students to France to experience and research history first hand.
Each student has been given the name of an aboriginal soldier from Saskatchewan to investigate.
MacSorley says it’s creating awareness for the students.
MacSorley has asked students to investigate the lives of soldiers before but says this is “different…For the students just seeing the wording (to describe aboriginals) used in the file and looking at what that person did before the war, and even seeing the medals and the accomplishments and recognizing… how successful these individuals were I hope, sometimes open their eyes and makes them more proud of their accomplishment because this is a history they don’t know. It’s not well known across the entire country.”
MacSorley says the trip will cost each student $3,700 and the school hopes to raise the full amount by next year.
The proceeds of the Feb. 3 meat raffle at the Brigden Legion will go to the cause and if individuals want to contribute, a GoFundMe page has been set up online called La Loche Academic Study Tour.