Photo by Scott Strasser

Big House Experience provides Grade 4 students a glimpse into Indigenous culture

The annual event has become a popular part of the social studies curriculum

Grade 4 students from across the Comox Valley were at the K’omoks First Nation on May 17 for the Band’s yearly Big House Experience.

The annual event, which has gone on for over a decade, showcases some traditional Kumugwe dances and gives the students a glimpse into the Band’s culture.

Considering local Indigenous history is a part of the social studies curriculum, School District 71 Aboriginal curriculum support teacher Gail Martindale said the annual event has a strong impact on students.

“I think they take back a broader understanding of what First Nations peoples are about. They get to learn a little bit of their history, their culture, and hear the songs and dances that have been passed on through many generations of people,” she said. “It sticks with them.”

Video by Scott Strasser

Students in attendance learned about how traditional dances are done in a counter-clockwise direction around the central fire pit, and how eagle down is considered a sign of peace.

Band member and artist Andy Everson led the proceedings. He said he’s met adults who tell him the Big House Experience was something they considered a highlight of their time in school.

“It’s a chance for us to share some of our culture, some of our dances with them,” he said. “For us, I think that’s really important, to share a positive aspect of Indigenous culture with other people.”

While the Big House Experience is primarily an educational endeavor, some fun was also sprinkled into the mix. The event ended with a peace dance involving all the students, which followed a dance-off between two members representing the full moon and the half moon, and a surprise cameo appearance from Darth Vader.

More than 600 students attended two presentations.

Just Posted

Preliminary inquiry for Island resident facing numerous charges in Comox Valley shooting

A 27-year-old Saanich resident had his preliminary hearing in Courtenay Wednesday as… Continue reading

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

VIDEO: Leaf Compassion celebrates legalization in Courtenay

Leaf Compassion in Courtenay celebrated the official legalization of marijuana in Courtenay… Continue reading

Man injured in Vancouver Island racetrack accident meets, holds son for first time

Kayden was born the day after Jonathan was crushed by car at speedway

SD 71 school trustee candidates answer questions on sexual identity issue

The four unacclaimed SD 71 candidates were asked their stance the SOGI issue

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

‘A little odd’ B.C.’s biggest city celebrates cannabis without a legal store

On the streets of downtown Vancouver, notably the Wild West of illegal marijuana, not a single legal store opened Wednesday, making for a rather anticlimatic kick-off

Most Read