KAMLOOPS – Monday, April 7, was a day of recognition in School District 73, an initiative that acknowledges the Secwepemc and Nlaka’ Pamux Nations, their traditional territories and histories.
It is the first in what is hoped to be an annual event and will be marked by the hosting of assemblies in all district schools. The assemblies focused on recognizing the traditional territories of the Secwepemc and Nlaka’ Pamux peoples.
“It’s part of a bigger Aboriginal Education initiative that spans Kindergarten to Grade 12 and includes the history of the Nations and their traditional practices,” said Cheryl Sebastian, district principal, Aboriginal education. “The Day of Sucwentwecw (suk-went-wa) is a day to celebrate and acknowledge one another.”
Each school had the opportunity to invite an elder or representative from the Secwepemc or Nlak’ Pamuk community to be part of its assembly.
Simpcw First Nation representatives Tina Donald, Allison Celesta and Sam Saul took part in the assemblies at Raft River Elementary and Clearwater Secondary schools.
“The majority of schools in this district are on Secwepemc traditional territory,” said Renee Spence, administrator for the First Nations Education Council. “This day is intended to increase awareness and an appreciation for the traditional territory of the First Peoples in our area.”
Schools in Logan Lake ecognized and acknowledged the traditional territories of the Nlaka’ Pamux People.
All 42 schools in the district received a Day of Sucwentwecw resource package, which included the Secwepemc flag designed by local artist Travis Marr with 17 feathers representing the 17 Secwepemc communities, a Shuswap Nation Territory map, a special edition of the ‘Secwepemcw News’, and resources booklets with grade-appropriate lesson plans. The program has been developed to be flexible and fit within a variety of learning outcomes in the BC curriculum.