The Jimmy Roberts Memorial Culture Camp at Churchill Community High School is reconnecting students with their cultural identity.
That’s according to Leonard Roberts who said his brother would be proud to see the students participating in the various traditional activities, which began today with an opening ceremony. He noted back when they attended residential school, there were no cultural teachings so when he became a teacher himself, Jimmy Roberts pushed for more Indigenous education in the curriculum.
“He pushed for this program through the Northern Lights School Division and he finally got it,” Roberts said, adding the camp was named in his honour after he passed away in 2010. “Now his dream is living on and all these kids are going to learn. This is a good example of reconciliation.”
Roberts also noted with so many resources available in La Ronge like lakes, forest and elders, it makes sense to utilizes them in teachings. He said many reserve schools have held such culture camps for years and it’s important for off-reserve school to take part as well. When everybody is participating regardless of background, Roberts said it shows what reconciliation is all about.
Leading up to the community feast Thursday, students will be able to learn skills such as beading, trap setting, ribbon skirt making, traditional storytelling and more. Community school coordinator Alex Curtis said he’s also hoping students take time to ask elders questions and take advantage of everything begin offered. Earlier today, students enjoyed performances from the Pre-Cam Hoop Dancers, New Dawn Drum Group and local artist Phurius Musik.
“As an educational facility, it’s always worthwhile to try to educate students about traditions from various cultures that are in the area,” Curtis said. “In order for them to form an identity themselves, they need to know where they came from.”
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