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Finding New Ways to Share Indigenous Learnings During a Pandemic

The District’s Indigenous Education Program has joined together with Elders, other leaders and educators to find new ways to share Indigenous learnings and culture during the pandemic. What follows are some examples of the creative ways Indigenous teachings are being shared both outside and virtually.

Reconciliation Through a Project of Heart

Students from South Slope Elementary and the BC School for the Deaf came together initially in the Fall, with health and safety protocols in place, to learn about reconciliation with members of the Tla’amin Nation. They met outdoors with Indigenous community leader Laura Ward, who is also the Chair of the District Parent Advisory Council – along with her daughter Hailey Ward, a Grade 8 student at École Cariboo Secondary. Students learned about the devastation of the residential school system.

After reflection and meaningful classroom discussion, they went to work on a reconciliation project in the form of a mural. Each student created a tile of hope and love for survivors. The finished art was installed in January and is displayed at the school as a symbol of their commitment to reconciliation.

Indigenous Teachings Shared Virtually With Families

A unique and meaningful community gathering saw a small group of Windsor Elementary students and their families connecting virtually just before Winter Break. Eight Indigenous students took home specially prepared packages that included strips of wood to make a cedar rose.

Tsawaysia Spukwus – also known as Alice Guss – from the Squamish Nation, shared her cedar teachings with the families who gathered together with her online.

Afterward, Destiny Willier, a Grade 3 student, proudly shared with her classmates the cedar teachings she learned by leading them through the making of their own cedar rose. Her classroom teacher commented that Destiny showed a lot of confidence and did a fantastic job.

Posted January 2021