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Removing Christian prayers from SK public schools

Christianity, the predominant religion in Canada, is undoubtedly woven into the fabric of Canadian society. The presence of religion is not limited to places of worship; it can be found in many
schools, social services, charitable organizations, and even our government. We observe religious holidays throughout the year and many family traditions and celebrations are rooted in religion.
Religion is part of our social environment and generally goes without notice in day-to- day life. This acceptance makes it difficult for individuals to notice and object to practices of religious worship that
infringe on human rights in Canada. It is especially difficult to object to religious practices with long-standing traditions. The omnipresence of religion and acceptance of religious tradition makes effecting positive change seem like an insurmountable challenge. With perseverance, respectful discussion, and thoughtful action, it can be possible to bring about change that upholds the rights of all. One woman’s effort to replace a religion-specific prayer with a moment of silence in a Saskatchewan public elementary school is one such example.

Dusti Hennenfent is a grain farmer just outside Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan where she lives with her family. Hennenfent and her husband have two school-aged children who attend Lindale Elementary School in Moose Jaw. One morning in the fall of 2015, Hennenfent arrived at the school during Lindale’s daily broadcast over the school public address system. It was at this moment that she realized prayer
was part of the morning routine at Lindale School.

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