Recently our secondary schools students had an opportunity to attend a sweat lodge building and ceremony as part of the “Bundle Roots Program”. The event was hosted by Indigenous Education Secondary Support staff & teachers. At this event we had students from various cultures take part. The turnout was great and the weather was wonderful. There were three secondary schools that took part in this activity. The Sweat lodge was held on Atikameksheng Anishnawbek territory.
The sweat lodge is a structure, which is dome shaped made using natural materials given to us by the land. sweat lodges are used by Indigenous people on Turtle Island for ceremonial prayers. The ceremony and traditions associated with the sweat lodge vary from region to region but are similar in nature.
Students were able to partake in constructing the sweat lodge which was a rich learning experience for all staff and students. All the young men and women took part in constructing the sweat lodge. The Elders were both helpful and insightful for the youth and the staff, and shared their knowledge.
We completed our very full day with a very delicious feast, along with a spirit plate given back to our sacred helpers during this ceremony.
The Sudbury Catholic District School Board hosted a secondary Powwow on June 1st 2016 at St. Benedict School. This was an opportunity for our Indigenous community to share their culture with non-Indigenous community members. Some of the dancers at the Powwow were secondary school students who attend our schools. It was exciting for our participants to see the dancers. Students were also able to share their culture and the style of dance. Those who partook in this event were able to celebrate Indigenous tradition and culture.
Through SCDSB we integrate First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures, history and perspectives in our curriculum. As an indigenous support worker we try to bridge gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Having a celebration like this brings people together.
The Pow wow celebration was our first this year for our Catholic secondary schools. Many of those who attended the Powwow have never experienced a cultural activity such as this. It is with hope that with the continued support of secondary staff we can strive for more exposure of First Nations, Inuit and Metis Culture. Our students and faculty were given the opportunity to see dancers in full regalia. The students shared songs and the drumming was breathtaking Miigwetch.