The Lloydminster Public School Division’s students are learning about many facets of Indigenous culture and history this month.
February marks Indigenous Storytelling Month at schools around the city. Over this month, students will read and hear stories from the Virtual Library. Also, students in grades six to eight at Bishop Lloyd, College Park, Barr Colony, and Jack Kemp will learn about bead looming.
Bead looming, LPSD Coordinator of Learning and Instruction Clint Chocan explains, is a practice stemming from Ojibway and Anishinaabe cultures as a means of preserving history, writing stories and marking treaties.
Chocan explains that things like Indigenous Storytelling Month are a way for students to learn about a culture that was here before and continues to this day.
“What we would like for the students to take away is that there was a culture, with systems, an economy and a whole lifestyle that was in place prior to contact.”
This year, students will also have the option to partake in Land-Based Learning over the February school break. The lessons, based on and teaching students about the Medicine Wheel, will get students learning from nature and into the outdoors.
“You can learn a lot about how things are,” Chocan notes, “Or how things came to be, or why things are the way they are just from walking in nature, and nature explains a lot about why we do the things that we do.”
In addition to giving non-Indigenous students an insight into a culture that may be new to them, Chocan adds that it allows Indigenous peoples to learn about themselves and their culture as well.
“It’s a chance for Indigenous people to feel proud of who they are. To have that sense of identity, that sense of belonging, that they were steered away from through the residential schools system. Introducing [the lessons] into the curriculum gives them a chance to be proud of who they are.”
Students will begin learning about the First Nations Treaties in March as part of continued curriculum around Indigenous learning.