Last month was Art Month at SCIDES, and one of the things we talked about in our blog was Aboriginal Art in British Columbia. Aboriginal Art has been around in BC for thousands of years. We are very lucky to live in a province with such rich aboriginal culture and heritage, which is often reflected in the art created by First Nations artists. But of course there is much more to aboriginal culture than arts. This month, we want to celebrate aboriginal education and highlight the programs we offer, as well as the much needed progress that has been made in incorporating the aboriginal voice into our curriculum.
Canada - and BC in particular - is the place to go to learn about and find aboriginal culture. Merritt is not only home to SCIDES, but also to the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) - a premier aboriginal education facility. We are very lucky to have an abundance of educational opportunities and knowledge in the local aboriginal community. NVIT was founded by five of the local Indian Bands (Coldwater, Shackan, Nooaitch, Upper Nicola, and Lower Nicola Indian Band) and has been a public post-secondary institute since 1995.
One thing that's particularly worth celebrating is that British Columbia is making huge strides in finally incorporating aboriginal voice and culture into our curriculum. SCIDES and School District 58 offer a variety of courses, like aboriginal languages and culture classes. We also invite local elders and First Nations leaders to events and into our schools to teach important lessons to all students. This month, we will have a First Nations graduation celebration, with more anticipated grads than ever in SD58!
Some of the courses SCIDES offers are Aboriginal Leadership 12 and BC First Nations Studies 12 and we're continually working toward expanding our own knowledge of aboriginal culture, and offering more courses for all of our grade levels.
We're also thrilled that SD58 now has an Aboriginal Education website, which offers a wealth of up-to-date information about cultural events, language & culture, and traditional games. It's also an amazing curriculum resource, with craft tutorials, historical timelines, language instruction, and much much more. Towards the end of this month, we'll celebrate a very important day in aboriginal culture - the Summer Solstice on June 21st, which also coincides with National Aboriginal Day. The longest day of the year is traditionally marked with celebrations of heritage, and is a great day to go to your local festivities and find out more about aboriginal culture.
Finally, we want to recognize and celebrate all those who spoke out and continue to speak out against residential schools. SD58, along with SCIDES and all other schools in Merritt, is working very hard to make our schools a safe and welcoming place for everyone.
Join the conversation on our Facebook page, we'd love to connect with you! As always, if you would like information about the courses you can take at SCIDES, you can contact us anytime - we're looking forward to hearing from you.
SCIDES ~ creating connections in ALL directions.