Ten Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWSD) schools will welcome Cree musician Jason Chamakese during the First Nations, Métis, Inuit (FNMI) school tour on September 25-29, 2017. Darrell Willier, FNMI Education Coordinator at PWSD, who organizes the tours, says this will be Mr. Chamakese's fourth visit to PWSD and students and staff are in for a treat that they will remember for a very long time.
"The goal of the FNMI school tour is twofold," adds Mr. Willier. "FNMI students identify with the positive role models from a cultural perspective, and the guests help to break down negative stereotypes that may still exist regarding FNMI people."
Hailing from the Pelican Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, Mr. Chamakese began playing the traditional flute nearly 15 years ago.
"I am very much looking forward to visiting once again," says Mr. Chamakese. "I hope to instill a positive message of open-mindedness through the music and stories I share. I want my listeners to feel as though they have learned something positive about First Nations culture that moves them forward in their interactions with people of all cultures."
Mr. Chamakese performed at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games with a Saskatchewan-based dance troupe selected to represent the province's First Nations people. Initially, the troupe was scheduled to perform four shows at the Four Host Nations Pavilion; however, another show was added to accommodate the demand. In 2013, he and fellow musician Robert Gladue were invited to perform at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, and remained there an extra week on a three-show tour through the countryside towns of Rothesay, Oban, and Dunoon.
Mr. Chamakese will offer morning and afternoon presentations at the following PWSD schools:
UPDATE, SEPT. 21, 2017, 9:45 A.M.: Changes to the schedule are indicated in red below.
Monday, September 25
9:30 a.m. at Harry Balfour School, Grande Prairie
1:00 p.m. at Hythe Regional School
Tuesday, September 26
10:20 a.m. at Wembley Elementary School
12:15 p.m. at Helen E. Taylor School, Wembley
Wednesday, September 27
9:15 a.m. at Clairmont Community School
1:00 p.m. at Bezanson School
Thursday, September 28
9:00 a.m. at R.W. Zahara Public School, Sexsmith
1:00 p.m. at Eaglesham School
Friday, September 29
10:30 a.m. at Spirit River Regional Academy
12:45 p.m. at Rycroft School
Photo Caption: Jason Chamakese, a traditional Cree flutist, will present his musical and inspirational message to ten PWSD schools during the week of September 25-29, 2017.