June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day, and this year marks the 25th anniversary of celebrating the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples.
Staff at the Delta School District understand the vital role education plays in building intercultural understanding, empathy and mutual respect. For the past six years, Delta students and teachers have looked forward to having Nathan “Kaanaax Kuwoox” Wilson, Indigenous Educator and Cultural Enhancement Facilitator, visit their schools and classrooms to share his heritage, culture and knowledge.
With the onset of the pandemic last year preventing face to face school visits, the Indigenous Education department had to quickly find other ways to connect to students and staff. The team created a series of videos for teachers and parents to share with their children and prompt discussion. Topics include:
- ‘Learning with Nathan’ series including: Harvesting Cedar Bark, Out Fishing, Bannock
- “Happiness is…” live series including: Traditional Plants and Medicine, Blackberries, Salmon Ceremony
You can access the complete set of videos here. Today, Nathan is hosting a session entitled Happiness is National Indigenous Peoples Day where he will be celebrating Indigenous culture and honouring Indigenous voice.
“Prior to the pandemic, I would visit schools and talk to one or two classes at a time,” said Nathan Wilson. “Although I really miss connecting with students face to face, the shift towards online Zoom sessions and videos has allowed us to reach many more students than before. To date, thousands of students across the district have been participating in the sessions.”
For the last six years, the Delta School District has started school assemblies, presentations, district and Board meetings, and public events with a Land Acknowledgment. We recognize that the Delta School District is situated on the ancestral and unceded lands of the Tsawwassen and Musqueam First Nations and all Hun’qumi’num speaking people who have been stewards of this land since time immemorial. This year, a weekly Monday Morning Welcome and Acknowledgement of the Territory over Zoom was introduced. It has proven how important it is to start the week in a good way. There are now approximately 30 classes involving more than 700 students and teachers participating each week.
Today, on National Indigenous Peoples Day, we encourage everyone to learn more about the history of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and to reflect on what reconciliation means to you. You can learn more by visiting the following websites:
Nathan leading the weekly Monday Morning Welcome and Acknowledgement of the Territory over Zoom