PRSD celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day
June 21, 2020 marks Indigenous Peoples Day and although celebrations look different in Peace River School Division (PRSD) schools this year, teachers and staff are providing virtual learning opportunities for students to highlight and acknowledge this significant day of recognition.
“This important day, and the ongoing infusion of Indigenous based teaching and learning in our schools is crucial to impact change and support reconciliation” says Board Chair Darren Kuester. “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. PRSD also celebrates Indigenous graduates at the Peace River Pow Wow during the traditional Eagle Feather Graduation Ceremony.
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.