Healthy Schools BC Stories

Community: Saanichton
School Name: North Saanich Middle School
School District: SD063
Health Authority: Island Health Authority
School Level: All
Category: School Connectedness
Inquiry: Yes
CSH Approach: Yes
Receieved HSN Grant: Yes
Date Submitted: 30/09/2014
Lillian Jones
Education Sector

Celebrating Indigenous Food and Culture II

This project took two (2) years to initiate.

A student in grade 7, said, "I'm tired of having parties JUST for First Nations students. I notice all other students walk by our room, they must wonder.......why aren't we celebrating with those kids? I want to have a celebration for the entire school."

First, we created a team of First Nations students from Kelset Elementary, North Saanich Middle, and Parkland Secondary Schools. This team was responsible for ensuring that all other students knew what it meant to be from one of the four nations in the WSANEC (West Saanich Territory). And, what it felt like to celebrate culture and values.

We facilitated several breakfasts, and luncheons, so that the welcome team had time to know what's important to each of them. All of the students on this team were excited to share their culture, a taste of their traditional food, and some songs and dances with their entire school.

After our team was set and on the same page, we planned a dance performer - Teddy Anderson from Artstart.

Students who felt a need to be of service, prepared and cooked 450+ pieces of bannock bread.

Teddy danced and shared a message that we must be inclusive of all human beings when celebrating culture and building respect for one another.

The students shared a piece of bread with every person in the school: staff and students.

The event proved to be successful.

This was an idea of one grade seven student and students from Kindergarten to grade 12 made it happen.

Students reported that this was the very first time they'd ever seen a First Nations dance performance and ate traditional food.

Students wish to continue in this manner: sharing a meal, values, laughter, respect, and so forth.