Highland launches Aboriginal Culture Days

Highland Secondary School will launch the first of several Aboriginal Culture Days at Comox Valley schools.

Highland Secondary School will launch the first of several Aboriginal Culture Days at Comox Valley schools, say the School District 71 aboriginal education team and the school.

Highland has been a leader in aboriginal education, not only creating the first ever Aboriginal Student Council in Canadian schools, and running First Nations English and Social Studies courses, but also on April 16, Highland will host its first whole-school  Aboriginal Day — celebrating aboriginal culture in the 21st century.

The day will run like a large conference, offering an opening ceremony and keynote address, then every student will have a choice of two workshop sessions. The day will end with a traditional river dance.

“There is something for everyone. Bannock-making, canoeing, carving, First Nations graffiti and that’s just what I read on the first page of the brochure,” says Priya Dawadi, a Grade 10 leadership student.

Highland has hosted whole school events like this one before, but in the past they were around a healthy lifestyles theme, bringing in experts from the community on nutrition, exercise and stress-management.

More than 10 per cent of Highland students identify themselves as aboriginal, just over 100 students, and they represent diverse nations — K’ómoks, Métis, Cree, Mohawk, to name a few.

Aboriginal Day at Highland will open with an art show and an opening address from local artist, linguist and mentor Andy Everson.

The next Aboriginal Days will be at Valley View Elementary on April 25, a Brooklyn Elementary rededication naming ceremony May 2 and Airport Elementary on May 8.

— Highland Secondary School