Shyama Priya

First Nations celebrated by elementary students

Aboriginal Day event held for first time in White Rock

The grounds at White Rock Elementary were filled with children dancing, playing games, having their faces painted and learning about First Nations traditions last Friday at the school district’s seventh annual national Aboriginal Day celebration.

Around 1,000 students from 13 Peninsula elementary schools – as well as members of the public – attended the free event June 17, some of them for the first time.

Gayle Bedard, district principal with the district’s Aboriginal Department, said the event used to be held at Bear Creek Park – where it would attract up to 2,000 visitors – before organizers began bringing the celebration to other areas of the city.

“What we realized is there are lots of schools in South Surrey, White Rock and Cloverdale, and a lot of schools can’t get to (Bear Creek Park),” she said, noting festivities were held in North Surrey last year and will come to Cloverdale next year. “We get schools that have never participated before.”

At White Rock Elementary – the first school to host Aboriginal Day in the district’s south end – students were treated to hot dogs and bannock, games and a visit by the RCMP.

Close to a dozen different First Nations were represented through crafts, cultural displays and a main stage, which featured live dancing, drumming and singing performances.

Donda Humchitt of the Urban Heiltsuk Dance Group – which performed button blanket dancing – said practising the dances is not only a way for members to keep their children in touch with their heritage, but allows them to share those roots with the public as well.

“I think it’s just important for people to know where we’re from and what we do, what we celebrate and why we celebrate,” Humchitt said.

The purpose of the event is to recognize Aboriginal Day (June 21) and “deepen students’ understanding of the Aboriginal People in B.C.,” Bedard said.

“The goal is to share our culture and… bring the awareness that under the umbrella of aboriginal, there are so many diverse cultural groups, and this is a good way to showcase who they are.”

 

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

Just Posted

Sources, City of White Rock launch Thanksgiving Food Drive

Volunteers, donations sought for annual food-bank initiative

Surrey man charged with series of break-ins in Surrey, Langley

David Sinh Liu is facing 10 charges related to seven recent break-ins

COVID-19 exposures at Surrey schools: An updated list

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

Future of Massey Tunnel replacement in the air after snap election called

On Friday the ministry said it was identifying property ‘necessary for future infrastructure improvements’

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

COVID-19 testing lineup wraps around block in Chilliwack

Testing lineup includes seniors, children and their parents as demand seems to surge

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

Most Read