By Lisa Goudy
On the first day of the summer solstice, Thursday, students from the Catholic and public school divisions participated in National Aboriginal Day celebrations.
The Holy Trinity Catholic School Division held events at École St. Margaret in the morning and the Prairie South School Division (PSSD) had their celebration at Connor Park in the afternoon.
“It means a whole bunch to me and a whole bunch to the tribe,” said 72-year-old Gerry Stonechild, a knowledge keeper of the Muscowpetung band. Stonechild spent the morning teaching Grade 4 and 7 Holy Trinity students about culture. “It’s finally a recognition for some of the stuff we lost — our languages our culture.… We’re finally getting it back and it’s all coming together.”
The events at St. Margaret included lacrosse, an outdoor First Nations game known as foxtails, storytelling, medicine teaching, square dancing, birch bark biting and bannock making. The Wakamow Aboriginal Community Association (WACA) Dancers performed at the closing ceremonies in the morning and performed in the afternoon for the PSSD celebrations.
“These are my natural colours of the bear,” said dancer Ardene Kade from King George Elementary School as he pointed at the blue, white, red and orange colours of his regalia Thursday afternoon. He said his grandmother’s friend made his regalia. “My Indian name is Chief Bear.”
For more information, see an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.