PRSD Celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, 2019
Teachings from elders, Indigenous games, special assemblies, Metis jigging, tipi decorating, hand games competitions, storytelling and the recognition of residential school survivors are a few examples of ways Peace River School Division (PRSD) schools will honour National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, 2019.
“The enthusiasm of our schools in planning events and activities for Indigenous Peoples Day is truly awesome,” says Board Chair Darren Kuester. “This important day, and the ongoing infusion of Indigenous based teaching and learning in our schools is crucial to impact change and support reconciliation. This provides our students and school communities with a deeper understanding and respect for Indigenous culture, history and issues.”
Indigenous history, culture and traditions are integrated into everyday learning, curriculum and through various school events in PRSD. Students are provided opportunities to participate in sweat lodges, the Blanket Exercise, listening to the teachings of elders, the Seven Grandfather Teachings and Aboriginal Studies courses for high school students. Participation in Orange Shirt Day, PRSD’s hand-games competition, culture clubs, storytelling and the Aboriginal Career Fair are other examples of opportunities offered in PRSD schools.
The Eagle Feather Graduation Ceremony is scheduled to be held at the Peace River Pow Wow on June 23, 2019 where PRSD graduates will be celebrated.
June 21 was first declared Aboriginal Day in 1996 by the Governor General and on June 21, 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau renamed it “National Indigenous Peoples Day.” June 21 was chosen because, for thousands of years, Indigenous people have celebrated their culture and heritage and give thanks to Mother Earth on the summer solstice which is the longest day of the year.
PRSD school event listing:
Bear Canyon Colony School
For National Indigenous Peoples Day, students will be having bannock for a snack and will be doing the Residential Schools stained glass window project.
Cleardale Colony will be playing First Nations Games and learning Indigenous chants for their celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day.
On June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day, students and staff at EE Oliver will be playing Indigenous games, along with reading books to further educate them on the culture. To finish off the exciting day students will also enjoy Indigenous crafts that are related to the Seven Grandfather Teachings.
Our plan at FHS has become fluid due to the recognition and dedication ceremony in Peace River. The agenda so far is lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs at noon, after lunch, we would have an assembly with a possible theme of Reasons to Celebrate. This would include recognition of our grads; sashes and gifts, presentation by Devin Bellerose, Handgame teams recognition and finally a fry bread and jam break.
This year for National Indigenous Peoples Day Grimshaw Public School will be starting the day off with O'Canada sang in Cree & Michif followed by the Treaty 8 acknowledgement. There will be Canokos (bannock canoes filled with taco makings) & mini Tipi cheese pizzas served for lunch. A display of various Indigenous items will be set up in the foyer for students, staff and visitors to view. Also in the foyer will be a smart tv set up with videos of various Indigenous artists that will play throughout the day.
Throughout the day the elementary and jr/sr high students will gather in the theatre for drumming, jigging, storytelling and traditional dancing followed by a movie based on traditional beliefs. At lunch, there will be a fire building/starter challenge and smudge available for jr/sr high students. There will be some traditional games played during recess for the elementary students.
For National Indigenous Peoples Day, Hines Creek Composite is having an elder come and make fry bread (like bannock, but with yeast) with the students, we are serving it to the entire school population along with a taste sample of "Indian Ice Cream" which is made with local berries for the school to taste test.
The elementary is going to be spending the afternoon learning about various First Nations Cultures. They will be involved in making and serving the fry bread. They will also learn how to play First Nations games including some Inuit games, and the Dene hand games. We are also going to read the book “Sky Sisters” by Jan Bourdeau Waboose and create our own northern lights sky. Lastly, we will be carving soap to mimic soapstone carving.
Each class at Lloyd Garrison School will be reading Indigenous literature and will participate in Indigenous based arts and crafts in their respective classrooms. The students will meet in the gym at 2:30 pm to play hand games.
Manning Elementary School will be combining their National Indigenous Peoples Day activities with their school-wide BBQ on June 26, 2019. They will be honouring their year's achievements and celebrating the Indigenous culture together.
Nampa Public School will be making bannock and playing hand games throughout the day to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day.
Paul Rowe Jr/Sr High School will be having students in the gym during SOLE time (Flex Block) for a kahoot based on Indigenous peoples history and we will be playing some Handgames as well. At lunchtime, the staff and students will enjoy stew, bannock and berry tarts.
In the morning, Peace High grads will be inspiring younger students as they do their grad walk at Springfield and TA Norris. Since we do not have classes that day, and no exams are scheduled, our students will also have the option of attending the flag raising and Treaty 8 monument reveals at Riverfront Park that afternoon.
At this time of year, many of Peace High School’s highlights in terms of celebrating Indigenous culture do not necessarily fall on June 21st specifically. Moments we are looking forward to including:
June 18: the Metis sash presentation that will take place at our year-end assembly to honour our Metis graduates
June 19: the Indigenous Art Show opening which will include work from one of our students
June 23: Eagle Feather Ceremony that will honour all of our Indigenous graduates
For National Indigenous Peoples day, we will be having a stew and bannock lunch from 11:30-12:30 pm, followed by Indigenous crafts in each classroom until 1:30 pm. We will round out the day with school-wide Indigenous games from 1:30pm-2:15 pm.
The morning will consist of an opening assembly with Kathleen Laboucan as our Elder coming to do an opening address for Springfield Elementary. Classes will individually participate in activities in their respective classrooms. Grade three and four students will be heading to riverfront park for the raising of the Treaty 8 Flag, and our Our Grade 1 - 2 classes will be doing different indigenous-themed stations, activities and games during that time.
T.A. Norris Middle School and staff will be walking to Riverfront Park to attend the unveiling of the Treaty 8 Monument, and participate in the drumming and dancing activities until 3:00 pm. Sounds like an exciting and productive day!
At Worsley Central School, we will commemorate National Indigenous Peoples Day with a meal and traditional indigenous games for our staff and students. Our guest of honour, Bruce McCalister, will address our students after lunch.