Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022
The word wuqanqankimik means ‘to walk with long strides’. It is a Ktunaxa word that was shared to our School District from Chief Louie from Yaqan Nuqiy – Lower Kootenay Band.
At a Lower Kootenay Band Chief and Council meeting in the 2018-2019 school year, Danica Weager (District Indigenization Coordinator) and Gail Higginbottom (District Principal Aboriginal Education) were in attendance. Chief Jason Louie shared he would like to see a focus on health and wellness for youth and shared the idea of a run for Reconciliation. This seed of an idea became a district wide event, to honour those words from Chief Jason Louie and the district commitment to Reconciliation.
The first year of this event, Salmo Secondary hosted a run day with drums, gifts, and public speaking as well as the run/walk/wheel program. As COVID impacted our journey, we shifted into school based runs with district ABED leadership through Run/Wheel/Walk Training programs. The district applies for a small grant through ISPARC each year to purchase small gifts for students to support their efforts and increase the celebration of this deep, personal commitment. Through ISPARC, SD8 Kootenay Lake joins a provincial wide movement in the Run Walk Wheel program.
This district wide event has taken place in each school in our district this year. Each school chooses how best to have this event, a partnership between the school and the ABED team at that school. As well, the district team provides a lesson to all schools on Reconciliation with the idea of a personal pledge. On the day of the events, classes and schools watched the Opening Ceremony, featuring words from Nasukin Jason Louie, Jared Basil, and our keynote speaker, Theland Kicknosway.
Many educators in our district stepped up and planned some amazing events with the Ab Ed teams in our schools, really embracing the concept of Reconciliation and centring Indigenous voice, story, and experience. It is amazing to see and feel the honest work that we do in our district. This is Reconciliation.
Here are some photos from various schools across our district participating in wuqanqankimik this year. Thank you to all schools, staff, and students for participating.