Nearly 100 Grade 6 students with Indigenous ancestry gathered at Westview Secondary last month to participate in Ignite, a two-day camp that focuses on cultural activities and making connections.
“Ignite allows students from across our school district connect with their ancestry and with each other,” said Kirsten Urdahl-Serr, acting principal of Aboriginal Education for the Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows School District.
On Day 1, students joined different clan groups with attendees from other schools so they could make new friends. Later, students received a traditional welcome from Katzie Elder Colleen Pierre before they rotated through various cultural activities, including lacrosse, beading, drumming, weaving, painting, carving, archery and bullrush weaving.
On Day 2, Metis Senator Philip Gladue joined the students as they gathered into larger groups to participate in three more sessions: a presentation from the Mobile Museum, basketball with iSparc, and Metis jigging.
Ignite camps take place twice a year. In mid-April, the students will gather again at Westview to participate in cultural learning stations on Day 1 and more activities on Day 2.
“I think Ignite and all of the other Ab Ed Department initiatives allow kids to connect with their ancestry while also gaining confidence as individuals. Over time, the department’s annual activities and weekly supports help students form a strong positive and personal cultural identity that empowers personal success and achievement,” added Urdahl-Serr.