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National Indigenous History Month and Beyond

June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada. It’s a time to honour the stories, achievements and resilience of Indigenous Peoples. Throughout the year, opportunities for learning and empowering hope for Reconciliation through action can be found across the District. What follows are some examples of recent work in schools.

An unveiling ceremony at Burnaby North Secondary of a Coast Salish welcome post was led by members of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Before the move to the new school building, Master Carver Xwalacktun from the Squamish Nation worked collaboratively with students and staff over many months to create the carving. He shared stories and teachings while they worked together on the post. Each aspect of it was chosen for its meaning. The completed carving was installed at the entrance to welcome all who come to the new school.

At Brentwood Park Elementary, each class has done deep learning about Reconciliation and Canada’s shared history as part of their Project of Heart. Indigenous families were invited to the school to create Hearts for Truth with their child. Every student and staff member in the school created a tile to represent their learning. The tiles will be gathered into a unified art piece by Trenton (Rain) Pierre of the Katzie First Nation and displayed as a symbol of the school’s collective work toward Reconciliation.

Two Grade 4/5 classes at Twelfth Avenue Elementary connected with the land at the Fraser Foreshore Park. They continued their learning about the Stó:lō. Part of the students’ focus was on the interconnectedness of species and they were fortunate to spot an eagle in its nest along the river.

Red Dress Day (May 5) is recognized by the District – such as at Alpha Secondary, where a poignant display was hung to honour Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two Spirited People.

Posted May 2024