Today’s Poll

Learning and Growing Together

By Contributor
June 28th, 2018

During the month of June — June 21st — marked the 12th anniversary of National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada. Kootenay Lake School District No. 8 students and staff chose to spend this day dedicated to celebrating and honouring the Indigenous peoples of Canada by recognizing and reflecting on an entire year of partnerships and learning.

Gail Higginbottom, District Principal of Aboriginal Education, expressed her gratitude for the many opportunities students had throughout the year to engage with Elders, knowledge keepers, teachers, staff and leaders from many nations. “We celebrate a journey of walking together to understand a collective nation of good hearts and good minds.”

Beginning early in the 2017-2018 academic year with the honouring of Orange Shirt Day on Sept 30th, students benefited from several opportunities throughout the school year to interact and listen to guests from the local nations and Metis Nations. Dance Locale, the 8th annual District Powwow and Grad Honouring Ceremony, the District Leadership “Connections” conference, Honouring our Elders Film gala, Enhancement Agreement Renewal dinners and the fall Lower Kootenay Band family dinner were some of the highlights from throughout the year where communities came together to learn and grow.

Aboriginal Education teachers throughout the district share stories of how National Indigenous Peoples Day was celebrated in their schools:

At Wildflower in Creston – “It was a great morning with Richard Jacobs setting up a teepee and learning the story of his family teepee business.  A beautiful morning filled with gratitude and celebration for Indigenous peoples here and all over the world –  opening prayer, acknowledgement, drumming, singing, painting teepees and pizza lunch.”

At Trafalgar in Nelson – “We opened the week with a drumming circle and song at assembly in preparation for National Indigenous Day. On the day, our ABED group gathered to finish our medicine wheels.” 

At Redfish on the North Shore – “Each grade participated in unique activities throughout the day, making medicine wheels from found feathers and materials, reading stories and playing a game from the Haida nation and our playground came to life with Indigenous games during lunch recess.”

At Jewett in Meadow Creek – “We celebrated the many ways Aboriginal peoples have communicated over the years by writing and sharing stories using pictographs.”

Photo Caption: Lavina Toporowski and Huckleberry Vimtrup ofJewett Elementary School students show how they celebrated the many ways Aboriginal peoples have communicated over the years by writing and sharing stories using pictographs. — Submitted

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