Submitted by Angus Wilson. With the sun piercing through the clouds, the heartbeat of the ancestors could be heard rolling across the landscape last Monday as a score of Haida drummers honoured the past and opened the First Annual Aboriginal Day celebration at Sk’aadgaa Naay elementary. In fact, this is the first celebration of its kind in the school district.
June 21 marks Aboriginal Day in Canada. At Sk’aadgaa Naay this year, we chose to note this special day in a special way. On Monday, June 23, we celebrated Aboriginal Day by sorting all our students up into two clan groups, Eagles and Ravens, and then organised them into groups of ten to compete co-operatively in a variety of aboriginal sporting activities from around North America. The activities included Toli (Cherokee Stickball), Tlachtli (Aztec Handball), Snowsnake (Dene Spear throwing), Cree Portage Races, Dox En Eye, Alaskan Inuit High Kick, Dene Pole Push, and several others. At each event the host teacher explained the origins of the event and how it has been modified over the years. Several volunteers kept our energy levels up with smoked salmon, fried bread, and other delicious treats. The day was capped off by several mighty tug-o-war battles. All participants received a red ribbon featuring either a raven or an eagle in original art by Joan Moody. When all the points were tabulated for the day’s events, it was serendipitously a tie -120 points for each team.
The day was a great success! No doubt due to the contributions of many. Numerous parents donated their time as group supervisors, staff members stayed late to help, volunteers cooked up hundreds of hot dogs for an early lunch, and Howler’s Bistro contributed over two hundred cups of jello for a special treat.
Mark your calendars for next year, and be sure to join us for Sk’aadgaa Naay’s second annual Aboriginal Day!!
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