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Check out the Awesome: Canyon-Lister Elementary

This year, at Canyon-Lister Elementary School, the students had so many great moments of learning and celebration in the Aboriginal Education Program. Here are a few of the highlights!

This spring, the grade 2/3 class decided that they wanted to put on a show, highlighting their talents and courageously stepping onto the stage in front of students, staff, and families. During lunchtime recess, the class planned and organized the show. We began the process by setting an intention for the group that included respect, support, and empowerment. The class explored these concepts by reading , a story written by Elizabeth Denny. The story centers around Jenneli, a young girl that thinks she is “nothing special” until her Grandma Lucee reminds her that her love and joy for Métis jigging is a gift she can share with the world. The love, support, and encouragement of Grandma Lucee and Jenneli’s courage was recognized by the grade 2/3 class, which they instilled into each lunchtime preparation, creating a relational and inclusive environment. Additionally, the class’s sense of community inspired them to raise money for PAWS, the local animal shelter. We celebrated the show’s success with a lunchtime party with snacks, songs, and dancing. The grade 2/3 show was a reminder to share our special gifts with our friends, family, and community and to feel a sense of pride for our cultural identity.

A group of children sitting on the floor in a room

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The grade 3/4/5 class has been learning about Indigenous groups from across Canada with their teacher Mr. Ewashen. We decided to look further into the creation story of the Ktunaxa People by listening to ʔaq̓am’s Nasuʔkin (Chief) Joe Pierre’s epic telling of how the animals worked together with the help of Naⱡmuqȼin to defeat Yawuʔnik̓. As the students listened to the story, they drew what they heard. We extended this exploration by re-telling the story from start to finish. Students eagerly raised their hand to add on to what the student before had contributed, carefully re-constructing the story while adding details that we forgot. We discovered that the Ktunaxa Creation Story included aspects of physical geography, language, biology, environmental change, and the powerful relational interactions that happen when we work together. It was a powerful learning experience enjoyed by all.