Aboriginal Education Program

UP GOES THE TIPI

Ms. Kennedy’s class pitched in last week to help raise our tipis for the district aboriginal youth conference. Thank you to those students for their energy, enthusiasm, and support!


STURGEON-NOSE CANOE…FINISHED!

The group recently finished the 7′ replica of a Ktunaxa sturgeon-nose canoe it has been building with Ktunaxa knowledge keeper, Wayne Louie, earlier this month. Wayne is a member of Yaqan Nukiy (Lower Kootenay Band) located in Creston, BC. He is the only remaining member of the entire Ktunaxa Nation that holds the knowledge to build the canoe. The canoe is on display in the library. For a detailed history of the sturgeon-nose canoe, please visit http://www.sturgeon-nose-creations.com/history.

GRATITUDE LUNCH TO SAY THANK YOU!

The Ab-Ed program hosted several of our elders and knowledge keepers at our year-end Gratitude Lunch. The shared meal honours and thanks them for sharing their wisdom, experience, knowledge, story, and support this year. The TMS Ab-Ed Program could not run without their support and dedication to our students! THANK YOU!

ST. EUGENE MISSION VISIT & POW WOW ADVENTURE

A group of Grade 7 and 8 students returned from a short trip to the St. Eugene Mission (formerly the Kootenay Indian Residential School) and the School District Annual Youth Pow Wow exhausted but enlightened. Both culture activities gave many of the students a grounding in rich culture of their ancestors and the ugly past enforced by the Canadian government. Thank you to Margaret for sharing both her time and experiences (as a former student at the KIRS). It was a powerfully transformative experience for everyone.

Ab-Ed Students pose in the hallway outside what used to be the student cafeteria at Kootenay Indian Residential School.


THIRD AND FINAL DRUM MAKING WORKSHOP: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

A small group of students worked with Donna and Anne-Marie to build and awaken their hand drums earlier this month. Led with story, ceremony, and teachings the students learned the importance of the drum to many indigenous cultures in Canada and around the world. Thank you to Anne-Marie and Donna for their dynamic duo efforts!

Local knowledge-keeper and Anishnabe elder, Anne-Marie Smith, directs the students as they build their hand drums.


REGISTRATION FOR UPCOMING YOUTH CONFERENCE

Trafalgar is, once again, hosting the SD8 Aboriginal Youth Conference on Monday, June 11, 2018. All Ab-Ed students must register for their sessions. Each student will participate in TWO sessions, but they will be required to sign up for five in order to accommodate as many requests as possible.

For a description of all of the workshop offerings click HERE.

Students may REGISTER for the conference by clicking HERE.


SD8 ABORIGINAL EDUCATION PROGRAM SPRING 2018 NEWSLETTER

Please click HERE HERE for a copy of the Spring 2018 District Aboriginal Education Program’s Newsletter!


STUDYING SINIXT ETHNOBOTANY

A group of Grade 8 Ab-Ed students spent the day at Four Nations Coalition of Indigenous Medicine learning about Sinixt ethnobotany (the study of traditional and cultural use of plants for medicinal, survival, etc. purposes). The day included a visit with and storytelling by Sinixt matriarch, Marilyn James, and wrapped up with cedar bracelet and rope making activity. A big LIM LIMT (‘thank you’ in Sinixt) to Marilyn, Kat, and Frog for sharing their wisdom, story, and enriching energies!

Wrapping up the learning with hands on bracelet and rope making using cedar bark.


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!

Isabella Sicotte (right) chats with tow of her biggest supporters, Trafalgar teacher Mrs. Kennedy, and school elder Donna Wright.


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!

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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.

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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.

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MAKING CONNECTIONS

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!

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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!

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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.

HAND DRUM-MAKING

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.

OUTDOOR WORKSHOPS

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.