Fairview elementary school hosted its first Indigenous People’s Day celebration on Friday, with help from Katzie elders and volunteers.
Every class took part, and each classroom hosted different activities.
In one, students learned about powwows and traditional dances, led by Tia Longstaff of the district Aboriginal Education department. In another, Colleen Pierre of the Katzie, who is well known locally for keeping her people’s traditions alive, had kids playing the traditional game Sla:hal, based around guessing in which hand their opponent held a bone.
They created ceramic tiles, learned about weaving and painted feathers. Outside on the field Al Gillespie taught kids about lacrosse and Ross Davies took students on a nature walk.
Forr lunch they got to sample bannock they learned about, and it was used in an “Indian taco” recipe.
Aboriginal resource teacher Paula Howarth said people have traditionally learned a lot about European history, Friday was about teaching kids about a 12,000 year-old North American culture.
The City of Maple Ridge is holding a celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 22 in Memorial Peace Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
National Aboriginal Day is an occasion to recognize and celebrate the cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Metis people in Canada.
It has been celebrated annually on June 21 since 1996. The summer solstice was chosen as the date, because it is a day that had traditionally been celebrated in many indigenous cultures.