Orange Shirt Day Assembly
We began our assembly with a beautiful acknowledgement from Beretta Bergs and listened to a poem by Ktunaxa poet, Smokii Sumac. This year we had two groups of students practicing throughout September to share at the assembly. One group of grade 7s, with the support of Grade 11s, drummed The Wolf Clan Song, a song shared with us by Joni Andersen. Ms. McGuire taught another group of Grade 7s how to say “I like strawberries” in nsyilxcən. Ms. McGuire introduced herself in nsyilxcən and then the group of kids very bravely stood up in front of the school and said, “ in̓x̌ast iʔ tq̓im̓tq̓m. ” To end the assembly, Ms. McGuire taught us all how to say, “way̓”, which has a variety of meanings used when greeting one another. The Foods 9 class cooked their second Indigenous meal for this event, the first being Three Sisters’ Soup. The bannock was an absolute hit and some people went back for sevenths!
In the Classroom
Our English First Peoples 11 and English First Peoples 12 classes are up and running. English First Peoples 12 learners are learning the Seven Sacred Teachings and participating in land-based explorations to reinforce the teaching and working with Brian Lye through an Art Starts grant to make a film about place. English First Peoples 11 are currently focusing on the concept of intended erasure. Science 10 takes place first block of the day and students have been participating in a circle every morning. The CLE 10 class has been learning wellness models and presenting them to the class including the medicine wheel and a Māori wellness perspective, and created tableau presentations for each of the Seven Sacred Teachings. Foods 9 will be participating in beading poppies in honour of Indigenous veterans. Ms. McGuire has her own special segment on Salmo News called “The Nsyilxcən Word of the Day.”
Aboriginal Education Supports
Our students with Aboriginal ancestry really value gathering once a week. We begin with a circle and smudging. Our first project of the year was to harvest and begin the drying and curing process for the tobacco we planted in the spring. We took some plants to Salmo Community Services and Salmo Public Library in the spring and they were sad to see us harvest the plants, but we will return the tobacco to them when it is ready. We had a large canvas at the school that the students have painted a medicine wheel on. We will finish it up by adding symbols or words that represent each direction.
This year the kids are really hoping to make moccasins, paint, bead and more.