Aboriginal Education Program
SPRING ACTIVITIES AGENDA
CLICK HERE FOR Ab-Ed Spring 2018 Newsletter
It has been extremely busy and fruitful first two-thirds of the year, and we are in the home stretch! The 2017-2018 Trafalgar Aboriginal Education program is far from slowing down as we still have many terrific workshops and opportunities for your child to become involved! Here is a list of the upcoming activities for the third term (April 3-June 22).
April 4/5: Mosaic Medicine Wheel Making workshop *
April 9: Overnight trip planning meeting for students participating in April 10/11 workshop *
April 10/11: Overnight Workshop at Four Nations *
April 24 & 26: Day Workshops at Four Nations *
April 27: Medicine Pouch Making (for district youth Pow Wow)
April 27/30: Drum Making/Awakening Workshop #3 (tentative)
May 4: Film Premiere: Honouring Our Elders at the Civic Theatre *
May 8: Visit to the Sinixt pit house (tentative) +
May 14: Hoop Dancing workshop with Teddy Anderson +
May 17/18: St. Eugene Mission & District Youth Pow Wow Excursion (Creston & Cranbrook) +
May 24/25: Sturgeon Nose Canoe Workshop (finishing stages) with Wayne Louie +
May 30/31: Metis Jigging Workshops with Amy Cross (tentative) +
June 11: Annual District Ab-Ed Youth Conference (all Ab-Ed students to attend)
June 21: National Aboriginal Day (activities announced closer to date)
(*) indicates that participation sign-up sheets are available in the Library. Students are strongly encouraged to see Mr. Yasinchuk as soon as possible.
(+) indicates that students will be meeting with Mr. Yasinchuk after Spring Break to sign up for these events.
AWESOME WINTER SURVIVAL EXPERIENCES
An intrepid group of students spent a beautiful day at Kootenay Pass with local naturalist and outdoor environmental educator, Shanoon Bennett. The group learned about winter survival of many of the fauna that inhabit the alpine regions of our area. After a terrific snowshoe hike around and up from Bridal Lake, the students, working in pairs built snow caves in three and a half metres of snow! Many of the group members also accepted and were successful in the flint fire challenge. Big kudos and love to Shanoon for sharing her wisdom and knowledge with us!
HONOURING AND SUPPORTING EACH OTHER
Last month, the Ab-Ed program held its very first wrap-around ceremony to honour and support Grade 8 student, Isabella Sicotte. Bella has decided to dance in this year district youth pow wow in Creston this spring after embracing her Anishaabe heritage. The community, the school, and her family came together to offer support as she moves forward into this pivotal place in her personal journey. We wish her nothing but the best in the months and years ahead! Yay Bella!
OUR METIS ELDERS IN ACTION
City councillor, Bob Adams, and president of the Nelson and Area Metis Society, Don Courson, spend some time visiting with our students this month. Bob shared his Metis knowledge, stories, and answered insightful questions from the Grade 6 students assembled in the fine arts centre. Don shared his knowledge and stories with aboriginal students keen to learn more about their family. Through detailed stories, he shared how he learned about his Metis heritage and how students can begin to ask questions and learn their heritage. A huge THANK YOU to both Don and Bob for sharing his wisdom and knowledge with us!
BIG HORN SHEEP EXPERIENCE AT KOOTENAY PASS
Two groups of Ab-Ed students spent the day at Kootenay Pass visiting with the local big horn sheep and the herd fed at the feed station. Our days were spent with Toni Appleby, L.V. Rogers Secondary aboriginal support worker and local naturalist, who offered the students tremendous insight, knowledge, and enthusiasm with the students. The group had a wonder soup lunch at Bridle Lake Cabin at the summit of the pass. Afterwards, they played and reveled in the incredible amount of snow at that elevation. And yes, we were THAT close to these amazingly graceful and gentle animals. Huge thanks to Toni!
DRUM-MAKING WORKSHOP #1
Together, Anishinaabe elder, Ann-Marie Smith, and Metis elder, Donna Wright, mentored a group of Ab-Ed students to make hand drums, drum sticks, and medicine pouches. With a combination of story, humour, and shared knowledge our two local elders held space and supported the students to create and awaken their drums. We will be offering another workshop in March for students. Check out the drum awakening ceremony video, too! Thank you to Donna and Ann-Marie for sharing their wisdom, knowledge, stories, and energy!
JAM MAKING WITH GAIL!
A small group of Grade 6 Ab-Ed students, spent the afternoon making blueberry jam with the District Principal of Aboriginal Education, Gail Higginbottom. Gail, a member of the Secwe̓pemc Nation from Northern BC, shared her teachings around the importance of seasonal foods and berry picking protocol of First Nations. The finished products will provide gifts for visiting guests to the school along with hand-written notes of thanks from the students. Many thanks to Gail for her time, energy, and stories!
MAKING PEMMICAN AT LVR
A group of Grade 8 Ab-Ed students, spent two sessions with Toni Appleby at L.V. Rogers making pemmican. Pemmican is described as the First People’s PowerBar and was a staple food source in the winter and during long travels. The group was divided into two tasks: thinly slice the bison meat into strips in preparation for drying; pull the suet apart into smaller pieces and chop them in preparation for melting. The group will returned the following week to finish the process by grinding the dried meat using mortar and pestles (a very labourious and time consuming activity). The finely powdered meat was then mixed with the heated suet (animal kidney fat) and poured into molds and allowed to cool. And then..voila!
LOUIS RIEL DAY 2017
For the tenth year in a row, the Nelson and Area Metis Association raised the Metis Nation BC flag at City Hall on Louis Riel Day. The ceremony recognizes the anniversary of the execution of Metis leader, Louis Riel. A small group of Metis students from the Aboriginal Education Program joined the ceremony. Metis elder, city councillor, and president of the Nelson and Area Metis Association, Bob Adams, acknowledged the young crowd and thanked them for their support.
FALL 2017 NEWSLETTER
We’re off and running with another fantastic programming year! Please see our Fall Ab-Ed Newsletter for all of the details.
OVERNIGHT ADVENTURE AT FOUR NATIONS
An intrepid group of Grade 8 students spent two days (and one chilly night) at the Four Nations Coalition of Indigenous Medicine. The group spent time learning tracking skills, building a green stick bow, sharing stories, and enjoying each other’s company.
Trafalgar Grade 8 aboriginal education students were invited to join the LVR Ab-Ed program for their annual wild meat feast at Lakeside Park. Mr. Machado and Toni Appleby put on an amazing lunch with quail, venison, bison, and rabbit. Baked potatoes rounded out the spread!
CULTURE IS STORY: KTUNAXA STURGEON NOSE CANOE
Guided by Wayne Louie, a member of the Ktunaxa Nation’s Lower Kootenay Band, a group of Aboriginal Education students worked over three days to build the frame of a seven foot sturgeon nose canoe. The canoe was the main method of transportation of Wayne’s ancestors for thousands of years to travel through what is now northern Washington State, South British Columbia, Idaho, and Wyoming. Wayne will return in the spring to lead the students with the tedious task of wrapping the canoe in white cedar bark. After that the canoe with be put on display in the school. A huge THANK YOU to Wayne for sharing his time, knowledge, stories, and support with the students!
GRADE 6 RHYTHM MORNING!
This week, indigenous knowledge-keeper, Liam Fitzpatrick, dropped by the school to share his passion for indigenous culture, story, music, and instruments with the Grade 6 classes. Liam shared his collection of instruments from North America, South and Central America, and even South Africa! Students were given an opportunity to try playing some of these beautiful (and very old!) instruments. Each session ended with enthusiastic drum sessions around the mother drum. Thanks for Liam for sharing his knowledge!
2017-2018 UPCOMING ACTIVITIES & EVENTS
We have been busily organizing several upcoming opportunities for our students to get involved this winter. Please contact me if you would like your child to enroll in any of the offerings below.
The hand-drum making workshops have been planned for December and January. Sign up for both sessions will be happening at the end of November.
SNOW CAMPING & WINTER SURVIVAL
A winter snow camping/survival workshops with Shanoon Bennett have been arranged for January and February at Kootenay Pass.
We are planning two or three days in April with Four Directions of the Slocan Valley. Details to be announced.
OPEN DRUM AT LUNCH
Happens every second Thursday at lunch in the Ab-Ed room with Donna Wright, our resident elder. All students and their families are invited!
MEDICINE WHEEL MOSAICS
Liam will be leading a mosaic-making workshop to create beautiful tile mosaics of the medicine wheel. He will also provide teachings around their role of the medicine wheel in various indigenous cultures. The two half day workshops will run in January 2018.
INDIVIDUAL LEARNING PLANS
We have completed nearly all of the required annual Aboriginal Education Learning plans for each student in the program. If you would like a copy of your student’s plan, please contact us and we will forward it to you as soon as possible.