Students from the Lloydminster Catholic School Division recently celebrated Aboriginal Awareness Week, where students were able to take part in various activities including seeing how moose meat, fish and more is smoked. A teepee village was also built inside Holy Rosary High School JESSICA DEMPSEY LLS PHOTO
The Lloydminster Catholic School Division (LCSD) has been celebrating Aboriginal Awareness Week all across their schools.
Students have had a chance to try many different activities regarding what they learned about traditional Aboriginal culture this week.
“We wanted it to coincide with the flag raising, so we could have some really good celebrations going on,” said Cynthia Young, Aboriginal program coordinator, LCSD, about why this week was chosen.
On stage at Holy Rosary High School they have set-up a teepee village on their stage, one being 18 ft high, and outside they had a smoker set-up.
“We are teaching the kids how to smoke meat and to prepare their meat for the winter. And to give them a taste of what it was like to have some ducks on the fire or moose on the smoker,” said Young, adding how teaching these students about Aboriginal culture was extremely vital.
“With the reconciliation movement it’s getting very important for everybody to be educated, and knowledgeable about the Indigenous cultures of Canada,” she said.
“It’s important for the kids to learn about any culture, so to learn about the culture that first inhabited Canada is really important.”
Young noted things have changed since she first started at LCSD, and more awareness of Aboriginal cultures has been introduced.
“The first time I came here to work the poster on the wall was the biggest traditional or cultural thing we had, and now we are feeding kids moose meat and duck. So, we have come a long way, and we have got our whole school division ready,” she said.
Every hour a different class would come by from the schools to take part in the various activities.
Keegan Doyle, a Grade 4 student at St. Mary’s Elementary School, was excited to be able to learn about all the new things.
His favourite part of the day included trying the smoked moose meat.
Learning about different cultures was essential, and all of the things he learned he said he hoped to share with his family.
“It’s quite important because then you get to learn about different people,” he added.
“When you do this stuff you can take the knowledge and share it with other people.”
Young had her family come out for the week to help get all of the activities running and to help teach the students.
“I’m so thankful they have dedicated the whole week to me. My son and my husband have been gathering the animals we have used here today, and they were able to help me put up the teepee village,” she said.
“We are all working together and that’s a really big thing of this culture. Your family sticks together, helps one another and works with each other.”