Grade 4 student Ryan, from Devon Gardens Elementary, has been awarded the Alumni Choice Award for presenting a detailed project about his uncle, Squamish Nation artist Xwalacktun Rick Harry, at the recent Provincial Heritage Fair.
You can view Ryan’s award-winning presentation here:
“I chose to write my Heritage Project on Rick Harry because he is part of my family and part of my heritage. I wanted to do an Indigenous project to learn more about my own culture and to share it with my class. I love Coast Salish art and knowing that my uncle Rick has made such impressive works was an inspiration to me,” said Ryan.
He researched his project using the internet and interviewed his uncle at his workshop in West Vancouver.
“That was my favourite part because he showed me small totems that were his draft models and how he would use them to create large totem poles,” continued Ryan. “I feel great about winning this award and it makes me so happy to share my Squamish Nation culture with everyone! Thank you to the Delta Heritage Society for this opportunity and thank you to Mme Oliveira for encouraging me along the way.”
“I am so proud of Ryan,” said Mme Oliveira, Ryan’s teacher at Devon Gardens. “His presentation about his uncle is outstanding in terms of the depth and quality of his research. He is extremely deserving of this award.”
The BC Heritage Fairs Society (BCHFS) aims to bring people together to make history come alive. Each year some 6,000 students participate in Regional Fairs across the Province. It is a formal partner with THEN/HiER (The History Education Network/Histoire et éducation en reseau) and is affiliated with Canada’s National History Society.
The Alumni Choice Award is awarded at the Provincial Heritage Fair to one excellent project focused on this year’s theme, ‘People of British Columbia’, from each Regional Heritage Fair delegation. Selected based on a set criterion, the Alumni Council actively recognizes student excellence across the province of British Columbia through this award.
Ryan has been awarded a one year subscription to Kayak Magazine in recognition of his excellent work.