Students celebrate and learn about Indigenous culture
By Sue Tiffin
For the fifth year, Wilberforce elementary school students, their families, and school staff joined with members of the local Metis and Algonquin communities to celebrate Indigenous culture.
At an event held June 14 at the Lloyd Watson Centre, WES principal Elaine Fournier said students had the opportunity to learn about traditional cooking, drumming and art from members of the local Metis and Algonquin communities.
“Celebrating our local Indigenous culture in meaningful and authentic ways is very important to us at WES,” said Fournier. “Even in a small school, we don’t always know our students’ heritage as well as we think we do, and providing opportunities for the children to participate in meaningful learning opportunities that may be a part of their culture has a deep and lasting impact for our students. This type of celebration also provides an opportunity to engage our families in culturally relevant ways and for the entire community to learn more about Indigenous culture from our community partners.”
The event held this year was supported by special funding from the Trillium Lakelands District School Board which is geared toward promoting Indigenous culture within area schools.
“TLDSB is committed to building meaningful relationships with elders, knowledge keepers, senators, community stakeholders and Indigenous families,” reads the TLDSB web site. “We are committed to further support our students and staff as they learn the rich and vibrant cultural traditions, histories, and contributions of Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island ... Schools are supported in their efforts to incorporate Indigenous learning into classroom curriculum content and activities. Funding is provided annually to all schools to bring Indigenous elders, knowledge keepers, Metis senators and community partners into schools to share cultural teachings.”
For more information about Indigenous education in TLDSB, visit tldsb.ca/programs/indigenous-education/.