Grade 12 student Naashkii Soler poses with a copy of an article she had published in The Globe and Mail

An AP English Language and Composition assignment written by Grade 12 student Naashkii Soler was shared far beyond the classroom walls this week, as it was published in The Globe and Mail newspaper.

The personal essay she wrote juxtaposes her experience coming to boarding school in Grade 11 with her grandmother's experience as a residential school survivor.

"Ever since I came to school in Grade 11, it's been in the back of my mind that it's just such an incredible juxtaposition that 60 or 70 years ago my grandma was at a residential school. She was forced to go to boarding school and had a horrible experience and all she wanted to do was escape. Then two generations later, I've been able to get scholarships to attend one of the best high schools in the country through a boarding experience," she says.

"I see similarities between our two stories but then there is this huge difference. I thought that comparing our two experiences by going back and forth would be a good way to demonstrate how similar our stories are, but also how different they can be at the same time. I've always just imagined that juxtaposition as such a powerful kind of symbol of healing."

Naashkii's piece, Decades after my grandmother’s residential school abuse, I wear my ribbon skirt with pride, was published on Thursday, February 9 in The Globe and Mail newspaper.

The feedback she's received from friends, classmates, teachers, strangers and – most importantly – family, has been so positive.

"Everyone has been super, super supportive and over the moon. My grandma went and got a few copies for herself, she says. "I want to help change the narrative of Indigenous people. There often are negative stereotypes and perspectives of Indigenous people, and hopefully a piece like this can maybe help take a step forward in changing the narrative of Indigenous people for Canadian society."