Local student to represent Saskatchewan in Ottawa

Article courtesy of the Moose Jaw Times Herald.

Photo courtesy of Mya Matthies.

Mya Matthies, a Grade 7 student at Caronport Elementary School has been chosen to represent Saskatchewan youth in this year’s Young Citizens program.

The program is put on by the Society of Canadian History to promote cultural and history education for youth across the nation.

Matthies’ project entitled ‘Women at Work During the World Wars’ looks at the important role women played at home and abroad during the tumultuous time period.

“I’ve always been interested in World War II. When I found out that women had such a huge role to play I was just blown away,” she explained.

As a winner of the contest, Matthies has been awarded the video camera she used to create her research video. She will join the 24 other regional winners from across Canada in Ottawa in mid-October.

Her research will be shared with the other student winners, but the students will also get to learn even more of Canada’s history in the nation’s capital.

“They will show the videos,” she says. “We’re going to be doing some other stuff: We’re going to the war museum and walking the streets of Ottawa.”

Four regional heritage fairs were held in Saskatchewan in June. Contestants are first narrowed down to four winners from each region. Two provincial winners are selected from a group of 16 finalists. Summer Okerstrom of Sunningdale Elementary was awarded an Honourable Mention for her video Castle Butte and the Big Muddy Badlands.

When asked if her parents helped her out on the project, Matthies insisted, “I did a lot of it on my own. I have quite an independent personality and I wanted to see if I could do it on my own. I did a lot of my research from books and online. I love reading!”

She did admit to having a little help from her older sister.

“She’s a photographer so she helped me out with the tech side of things.”

Catherine Gilks of Heritage Saskatchewan says that Matthies was selected for obvious reasons.

“Her concise presentation, her enthusiasm and the way she covered the topic” made her an excellent candidate to represent the area,” Gilks said.

“I come from a super small school with like 100 people,” says Matthies. “So being able to represent my school and Saskatchewan is such a huge honour. My family is just super proud of me.”

You can view Matthies’ research video at http://canadashistory.ca/Kids/YoungCitizens/Profiles/2015/Mya_M