Monday, October 26th, 2020
Each year, the Kootenay Lake School District honours our Métis community by observing Métis Awareness month. The Métis Nation is a distinct Indigenous people with both First Nations and European ancestry. SD8 respects, honours and acknowledges all Aboriginal people residing within the boundaries of the school district and throughout November is hosting several activities to celebrate Métis culture.
“Students and families can engage in a variety of safe ways,” says Danica Weager, District Indigenization Coordinator, “There are video resources, zoom meetings being planned, youth circles and even a book club to join!”
Métis Awareness Month is developed and planned in partnership with the local West Kootenay Métis Society. This community-based partnership provides guidance and connections and helps to connect students with the local Nation through localized presenters and knowledge keepers.
Visit their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/westkootenaymetis
Elder Don Courson, President of the West Kootenay Métis Society, encourages all SD8 students to learn more about Métis culture, history, language by participating in a variety of educational initiatives this month. Watch his welcoming video: https://youtu.be/2dlxbRYJqZk
“It is important we look to our Métis Elders to share words, wisdom and intentions this month,” commented Weager.
In the spirit of honouring Métis contributions to literature, a special conversation with Elder and author Maria Campbell is open to all staff, students and families. Campbell, author of her memoir Half-breed, will join those interested in a conversation on November 10th. Contact the Aboriginal Education department for more details on how to sign up.
In addition, the book From the Ashes, by Jesse Thistle will be the featured piece of literature in a special book club that is open to everyone to join. Email Danica.firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
For Métis youth, Grade 8 and up, the Aboriginal Education department will be hosting a series of youth circles with LVR graduate and Métis youth role model Charly Defouw. All youth programming details and additional resources can be accessed on the Aboriginal Education website: https://aboriginal.sd8.bc.ca/
“By learning about Métis culture, we encourage discussions about the gifts that different communities bring to our lives and help us shift our narratives,” shared Weager. “We encourage everyone to get involved!”
For more information:
Danica Weager, District Indigenization Coordinator
About the Board of Education of School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake):
The Board of Education of School District No. 8 provides educational services to numerous diverse communities in the East & West Kootenays, including Crawford Bay, Creston, Kaslo, Meadow Creek, Nelson, Salmo, Slocan, South Slocan, Winlaw, Wynndel and Yahk. Its dedicated team focuses on providing the best possible educational opportunities for over 5,400 students and their families. Its mission is to focus on excellence for all learners in a nurturing environment.