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Peace Wapiti Public School Division
Educating today for success tomorrow
Peace Wapiti Public School Division No. 76
News Item

PWSD schools celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day

June 18, 2018

​Grande Prairie, AB – A number of Peace Wapiti Public Schools have made plans to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day 2018 on Thursday, June 21 or on an alternate day to accommodate exam schedules.

On Thursday afternoon, June 21, Grades 4-6 students at Penson School in Grovedale will participate in a Blanket Exercise. Grades 1-5 students will circulate through stations to experience traditional storytelling, beading, face painting, craft making and bannock. 

Teepee Creek School students will play traditional Indigenous games of the Dene Tha First Nation, and try the game of lacrosse during the afternoon of June 21. Grades 7-8 teacher Darren Clarkson plans to lead a Wampum belt-making session.

This past year, students at Beaverlodge Elementary School have been learning about Aboriginal culture through the school's Indigenous Studies Program. To celebrate the success of the program, the school will host a day of Indigenous games on June 21, along with a traditional lunch.

On June 21, Ridgevalley School will host a stew and bannock lunch for staff and students. Classes at Rycroft School will enjoy Aboriginal stories and activities. A photo display throughout Peace Wapiti Academy will provide an opportunity for students and staff to celebrate a year of activities and guests who have shared Indigenous teachings with the learning community.

Traditional food, crafts and games will be the focus of events at Harry Balfour School/Whispering Ridge Community School on Thursday, June 21. Grades 1-2 students will learn about Cree storytelling traditions during a reading of The Bear Story, enjoy crafting, and play match pull and run-and-scream games. Grades 4-5 students will circulate through traditional games stations, including kadoma, hand pulls, match stick, foot pulls, stick pulls, and run-and-scream. Grades 6 and 8 students will play lacrosse, while Grades 5 and 7 will enjoy catapult. Bannock will be served to all students. Rain date is Monday, June 25.

Bezanson School will celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day on Thursday, June 28 by introducing students to six traditional Indigenous hand games, followed by a picnic with homemade bannock for all to enjoy.

For the past number of months, Robert W. Zahara Public School in Sexsmith has been focusing on Indigenous culture, beginning in January with a bannock and stew lunch prepared by PWSD's FNMI Liaison Worker team. Grade 6 students created "A Project of Heart," a legacy art project to be unveiled at an upcoming ceremony as a gift to the school from the 2017-2018 class. Students and staff will salute Indigenous history by painting healing, celebratory or mindful words and quotes on rocks and decorating feathers of peace, to be placed around the school. The annual RWZ Sports Day on Friday, June 15 featured Indigenous games.

Beaverlodge Regional High School held two events on June 5 and 7 to accommodate students' final exam schedules. Connie Calliou, First Nations, MΓ©tis and Inuit (FNMI) Liaison Worker and Peter Joachim, Elder in Residence led the events that began with singing 'O Canada' in Cree, followed by a sharing circle of items of cultural importance.

To learn more, visit https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng.

Photos: R.W.Z. Public School's focus on Indigenous culture began in January with a bannock and stew lunch prepared by PWSD's FNMI Liaison Worker team. Grade 6 students will present their legacy art project, "A Project of Heart," during an upcoming ceremony.