Indigenous Peoples Day 2019

While we celebrate with the rest of Canada June 21 as National Indigenous Peoples Day, we learn about, celebrate, and discover the rich cultural heritage of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples through the year in Livingstone Range School Division.

FNMI Success Coordinator Sandra Lamouche helps ensure students have opportunities to understand Blackfoot Ways of Knowing - ways of understanding and experiencing the world in an indigenous context. "Our rural division is naturally included in land-based learning," says Sandra. "That has been an area where Blackfoot knowledge shines and inspires."

For example, Grade 5 students at W.A. Day Elementary School learned about traditional plants and their uses at a day camp while Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 students from Granum school learned about traditional tools and ways of life at Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump.

"We do activities and lessons based on storytelling, traditional games, dance, song, and art," says Sandra, noting that West Meadow Elementary students made parfleche bags as part of their Discovery Days activities. "We've done hoop dancing in Phys Ed, and had guest authors and storytellers from Kanai and Piikai nations."

In a spirit of awareness and reconciliation, students and staff from LRSD - including F.P. Walshe (pictured) - wore orange shirts and enjoyed traditional drumming in annual school assemblies.

Across the Division Sandra has been leading teachers, staff, students, and families in creating and learning traditional games. In May, 10 teachers and staff received certification in Traditional Games Certification Level 1, which will help them offer a greater cultural experience for students.

As LRSD focuses on relationship building with local elders, storytellers, and neighbouring First Nations communities, we celebrate the heritage and cultural diversity of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students, families, and staff in our Division and our communities.