Grande Prairie, AB – This week, schools throughout Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWPSD) will learn about the history of moccasins, participate in Métis-focused mental health and cultural awareness sessions, and focus on bullying awareness.
Celebrate Rock Your Mocs Day or Week
#RockYourMocs Day was Sunday, November 15. PWPSD students and staff are invited to celebrate by wearing moccasins to school, work or wherever their day takes them today, or during the whole week - November 15-21. Brigitte Benning, PWPSD Indigenous Education Coordinator prepared a slideshow for teachers to explain the significance of the day, the history of moccasins, and the importance of purchasing moccasins made by Indigenous artists.
Four-day PWPSD Indigenous Speaker Series highlights Métis Week
The PWPSD Indigenous Speaker Series, which coincides with Métis Week, will feature Cultural Knowledge Keeper and Motivational Speaker Beverly Lambert, known as Métis Bev, who is partnering with PWPSD for a second time to bring mental health and cultural awareness to students and staff. Ms. Lambert says she is "on a mission to get rid of the COVID blues through cultural knowledge" and will connect with four PWPSD schools over Zoom during November 16-19: Robert W. Zahara Public School, Helen E. Taylor School, Clairmont Community School, and Harry Balfour School.
"The Indigenous Speaker Series is always a special time," says Ms. Benning. "It is needed now more than ever. Bev's message is uplifting, educational and well-timed for Métis Week."
"At a time when we, including our teachers, are at our lowest mentally, I believe that my 'Mind Body Spirit Motivational Program' of cultural knowledge, music and dance will lift spirits again," adds Ms. Lambert.
Bullying Awareness Week
#WhereToTurn is the theme of year's Bullying Awareness Week, November 16-20 – a response to anyone who has ever been victimized by bullying and felt there was nowhere to turn. Recognize the warning signs of bullying – repeated mean, cruel, hurtful behaviours done on purpose by someone with more power. It can be verbal, physical, social and online.
PWPSD schools offer welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments with compassionate teachers and counselling staff who can assist any student who is experiencing bullying, or who recognizes they need help with curbing bullying tendencies.
For students who prefer anonymous help, the Government of Alberta offers a 24-hour Bullying Helpline at 1-888-456-2323, and a Bullying Helpline Chat during 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. daily. Staff, student leaders and parent volunteers can take the Alberta Education Respect in School online training. Any Albertan who suspects someone is experiencing family violence or other types of abuse is encouraged to use the province's reporting helplines.
Photos: 1. PWPSD Indigenous Education Coordinator Brigitte Benning prepared a Rock Your Mocs slideshow for teachers. 2. Métis Bev will connect with four PWPSD schools during Métis Week. 3. "Where to Turn" is the theme of Bullying Awareness Week 2020.