recent news

Learning Through Indigenous Teachings

Students and school staff are connecting to Indigenous culture in a variety of ways. Below are some of the many examples of projects across the District.

A group of Grade 8-12 students at Alpha Secondary have been meeting once per week with Squamish Nation Elder Ketximtn Alroy Baker and Cultural Student Ianna Lewis, along with Indigenous Education and school staff. Over several weeks, the Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth earned the drum by participating in local drum protocol. Through their dedication, the students were invited to make their own. Following teachings about how to honour and take care of the drums, the students will learn and then share local song and dance with the school community.

All students at Lyndhurst Elementary participated in an Indigenous weaving project over five days. It began with students learning about the history of trapping from Spelexilh Anjeanette Dawson, a Squamish Nation Knowledge Keeper and Master Weaver. She shared with students the cultural significance and methods of Coast Salish weaving. Students made quarter bags, which traditionally held 25 cent pieces to give to people who helped during ceremonies and Potlatches.

Older students were given a chance for leadership, after they were taught to mentor peers and younger students how to weave. Developing this new skill also allowed for further discussion of the First People’s Principles of Learning – that learning involves patience and time – which is particularly relevant when trying something new.

Indigenous artist Trenton Pierre presented at Maywood Community School about the connection to nature and community through art. Students in three primary classes went outside to make sketches for a collaborative mural project with the Katzie First Nation artist.

Staff and students at Burnaby North Secondary showed appreciation while drumming to Squamish Nation Elder Xwalacktun for his extensive teachings, mentorship and friendship. Together, they put the finishing touches on the Welcome Post that’s been many months in the making under the Master Carver’s guidance. It will be displayed in a place of honour when construction on the new school building is complete. Learn more about the project.

Indigenous students enjoyed a pancake breakfast and virtual visit sharing stories with Richard Van Camp – an author from the Dene Nation in the Northwest Territories.

At Inman Elementary students reflected on the land through art and building their own personalized land acknowledgements.

A Grade 2 class at Marlborough Elementary learned about the Métis Sash and did their own finger weaving.

Learn about more projects in Indigenous Education in our schools here.


Posted April 2022