Nathan Wilson singing the Coast Salish anthem during the opening of the Orange Shirt Day assembly at Chalmers Elementary on Sept. 28, 2018. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Nathan Wilson singing the Coast Salish anthem during the opening of the Orange Shirt Day assembly at Chalmers Elementary on Sept. 28, 2018. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Delta students to ‘Roc their Mocs’ March 11

Event to “teach about diversity, identity of different cultures around the world”

On Thursday, March 11, staff and students at the Delta School District are holding “Roc Your Mocs,” an event to celebrate cultural diversity and identity through traditional footwear.

The original Rock Your Mocs event takes place annually in November. The campaign started in 2011 in the U.S. in support of National Native American Heritage Month and provides a positive opportunity for Indigenous people to unite and celebrate tribal individuality by wearing moccasins.

The Canadian adaptation, The Moccasin Identifier, was created by Carolyn King in partnership with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations and the Greenbelt Foundation to bring awareness to the culture, history and treaty relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.

“With our Delta adaptation — Roc Your Mocs — we are inviting students and staff to celebrate their cultural pride, diversity and identity,” said Nathan Wilson, Indigenous cultural enhancement facilitator with Indigenous education program.

“We will be using the event to teach about the diversity and identity of different cultures around the world, with a focus on Indigenous peoples/culture, through moccasin history, design and story, as well as learn from each other about the many rich cultural experiences we have here in Delta.”

Over the last few weeks, educators from around the district have participated in a series of workshops to learn the process of how to make a “pucker-toe” moccasin, explore Indigenous diversity and develop an awareness and appreciation for the skill and knowledge involved, which they will share with their students during Roc Your Mocs.

“Our hope is that Roc Your Mocs will unite staff and students from across the district in a fun event that also sparks important discussion and dialogue,” Wilson said.

“We are encouraging everyone in the district to design their own moccasin vamps (the part of the moccasin that covers the top of the foot and toes) to highlight their own identity or to share their own cultural footwear, special slippers or even fun socks.”

Students and staff will be encouraged to share photos of their footwear for a chance to win prizes.

Saulteaux Cree – Saskatchewan hide and rabbit moccasins by Edith Cyr (1914-2000). (Shared with permission by Diane Jubinville)

“Our Roc Your Mocs event will help to bring attention to the diversity, the identity and the value of Indigenous knowledge shared among all First Nations, Inuit and Métis within Canada and globally. We hope it will also encourage all students — of Indigenous and non-Indigenous ancestry — to take pride in their culture,” Wilson said.

“For our educators and other staff, this is an amazing opportunity to both learn from our students and to learn more about them as individuals.

“This is extremely important as building connections with our students is key to supporting and enhancing their learning.”

A part of the Indigenous lens for Roc Your Mocs is to understand that diversity is not just the physical aspect of a community — it is also about identity. The implementation of the Indian Act in 1867 sought to remove the Indigenous identity. Through acts such as the creation of reserves and residential schools, Indigenous identity became threatened. The long-term effects of these acts continue today.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommended 94 calls to action to help heal the effects of the Indian Act and begin to rebuild Indigenous identity among all First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Today, many Indigenous peoples live off reserve and away from their communities. They may not be connected to the language, knowledge and history of their nations.

Education is considered to be one of the greatest hopes for repairing cultural attitudes, redressing the legacy of residential schools and advancing the journey of reconciliation.

Recognizing diversity, cultural pride and identity can be shared in a number of ways. The Delta School District acknowledges there is a diversity of style and design among moccasins that is directly connected to the territory they come from.

The access to specific resources also dictates the material used, as well as the moccasin’s function. The design is specific to the skilled artist and/or the person wearing the moccasin. Seasons also dictate the function and form of the moccasin — for example, a boot cuff or fully lined versus a slipper style or dance wear.



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

DeltaSchools

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Volunteers from Semiahmoo Secondary joined with members of the Lower Mainland Green Team and the White Rock and South Surrey Naturalists Wednesday to remove invasive plants from White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park in March. (Contributed photo)
Green Team, South Surrey students mark Earth Day with invasive plant removal

Volunteers to be on site at White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park

rcmp
South Surrey neighbours’ calls to police lead to break-and-enter arrest

‘Prime example’ of RCMP and public working together, constable says

Members of the Wheeling 8’s dance group go on a roll at Surrey’s Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre in 2018, during the club’s 45th-anniversary event. If not for the pandemic, such activities could be socially prescribed as part of a new program involving Fraser Health and DiverseCity Community Resources Society. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
‘Social prescriptions’ connect Surrey seniors to activities and other services they need

Fraser Health-backed program involves GP referrals to a Seniors’ Community Connector with DiverseCity

Linda Annis, Aug. 12, 2020. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Annis wants independent auditor general for Surrey

‘Surrey taxpayers deserve the best possible oversight of the tax dollars they send to city hall,’ Surrey councillor says

SkyTrain’s end of the line, for now, in Whalley. (File photo)
Provincial budget watchers lament no mention of Surrey SkyTrain expansion

But $1.66 billion is earmarked for a second hospital for Surrey, in Cloverdale

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Thousands have converged in Whonnock Lake Park to enjoy the nice weather. (Roxanne Hooper/The News)
Thousands enjoy B.C. park with warnings about social distancing

Portable toilets installed in anticipation of nice weather

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Playland at the PNE is set to reopen this May, with COVID-19 health and safety measures approved by the province. (Website/Playland)
VIDEO: Playland at PNE scheduled to reopen this May to masked customers

British Columbians are discouraged from travelling outside of their local health authority to visit the theme park

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Most Read