Students at Jack Kemp Community School had a head start on celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day. The school took part in watching traditional dances performed by LPSD students. JESSICA DEMPSEY LLS PHOTO
Jack Kemp Community School had an early start with National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations.
The school saw many students from the Lloydminster Public School Division Community come together and showcase traditional dance and outfits.
“Today we got all the kids, community and school together to celebrate and recognize the unique heritage, diverse culture, and contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis,” said Sarah Studer, teacher, and Cree Club coordinator at Jack Kemp.
To open up celebrations the Cree Club sang O Canada, there were drummers and many different styles of dances including the chicken dance, and jingle dress.
The drumming included people from Onion Lake Cree Nation and some students from the school.
The day is nationally recognized on June 21, which is the summer solstice, making it the longest day of the year.
Having the students celebrate this day was important, especially for the younger generation.
“It’s so important,” said Studer. “Especially for kids who have not been introduced to it so they can experience it, especially for our First Nations, Inuit and Métis students to be able to share their gift. It’s a beautiful thing to all come together as a community and share that with one another.”
Being able to get everyone involved in the celebrations, Studer said helped to create a sense of belonging.
Grade 6 student Kailey Starr was one of the dancers that performed at her school, and she said it was a fun day.
“It was nerve-racking … but an exciting nervous,” she said, noting her favourite part of the day was dancing a spinning move.
Throughout the celebrations, Studer said she hoped her students felt connected.
“I hope they feel interested in learning more about the culture, and about First Nation peoples, the Indigenous peoples, and I feel that especially there is a sense of feeling proud of themselves and proud of who they are,” she said.