Students of Meadowridge School celebrated Indigenous People’s Day on Wednesday.
Grade 5 students Rebecca Collier, Julin Liu, Anika Iyer, Grade 4 student Kian Diniz, and Grade 7 student Kaylyn Bell organized the school’s inaugural event.
“Today we invite the three different main columns of Indigenous people and they are all performing here at Meadowridge to celebrate our culture,” said Collier, who is of Métis heritage.
Collier’s fellow organizers said they wanted to learn more about Indigenous peoples.
“I wanted to organize it because I saw that there is room for improvement in the school for Indigenous peoples learning,” said Collier, who added it was a bit difficult to organize because the group started quite late.
“We were planning on doing a bake sale, but then it turned into a cookie sale that was two days long,” Julin Liu said about raising money to hold the event.
“We also had to, like, get a grant and that took some time,” explained Anika Iyer.
Iyer said she enjoyed learning about the Métis culture and that jigging was a lot of fun.
Diniz said he learned how it is starting an organization and being a team with other people to make something a reality.
“I learned a lot about First Nations people,” said Bell.
“It was a fun experience.”
The day’s events included performances by Métis jigger Lisa Shepherd and fiddler Ron Gerard, and Lynn Hayes, who was born in Yellowknife and spent her early years in Cambridge Bay, Gjoa Haven and Baker Lake in Nunavut.
Hayes told the students stories about living in the Arctic while showing them clothing items and utensils used to keep warm and do chores.
There were performances by the dance group Eastern Sky Ambassadors, along with the drumming group Love Medicine.