Cree Star Blanket began as a thank-you note to Joseph Boyden, the acclaimed Canadian author who wrote Three Day Road, an unflinching look at the First World War through the eyes of two Cree snipers. It evolved into a coffee table book that documented the award-winning high school history project his novel inspired, which included samples of student work, the faces and stories of students and teachers involved with the project, and the backstory behind the project’s inception.
I interviewed the students and teachers, made the portraits in the book, and laid it out in Adobe InDesign. I solicited the cover art (a mixed-media collage by Emily Thiessen) and past student work, with a lot of suggestions from the Mount Douglas Challenge class of 2013.
A copy was sent to Mr. Boyden, and he said he enjoyed it when I met him at a book signing the following year. Adrian French, winner of the Prime Minister’s Award For Teaching Excellence in 2013 and a co-creator of the project, presented another copy to His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Canada’s 28th Governor General. The book now resides in the Rideau Hall library.