We Are All Treaty People

‘Like it was meant to be’: Humboldt-born Northern Lights Movement makes far-flung connections

'Like it was meant to be': Humboldt-born Northern Lights Movement makes far-flung connections

Written By: Kevin Mitchell • Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Dorothy Asapace and her Grade 8 class at Muskowekwan spent part of this winter walking around the school’s outdoor track, braving chilly air and ever-changing foot conditions.

It was part of a broader challenge that involved schools in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba — they walked it, recorded it, did a mathematical log of their distance covered.

“I didn’t take them into 40-below weather, but it was a challenge with the ice and the snow and the slush,” said Asapace, a teacher who has 10 kids in her class. “But we did it together, and it brought us a little bit closer together. It was good for us all-around.

“We had to do the math — how many times around the track do we need to go in order for it to be a kilometre? We needed to submit it; we did video. We were accountable. The overall experience was awesome.”

The challenge was conceived by Celeste Leray-Leicht, who sometimes thinks about her son Jacob while she works on a project that’s taken up a good slice of time over the last few years.

Jacob Leicht was a quiet kid, known for his work ethic and willingness to take on any task, big or small. He died in the April 6, 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash that took 16 lives, and Leray-Leicht says he’s “one of my driving forces — he’s my guide.”

The project is called the Northern Lights Movement for Kids. Leray-Leicht, the vice-principal at Humboldt’s St. Dominic School, built the program with an eye toward getting kids active, and towards reconciliation.


The Humboldt Broncos pose with kindergarten students from St. Dominic School in Humboldt. The kids took part in the Northern Lights Movement for Kids, which was started by Celeste Leray-Leicht. PHOTO BY CELESTE LERAY-LEICHT /SUPPLIED