The Grade 6 classes at KVR Middle School are holding their fourth annual Louis Riel Day on Feb. 7 as a way of highlighting Indigenous culture and history.
“Our day stems from the change in the curriculum when they began to incorporate more Indigenous culture into the curriculum,” said Fiona Anthony, an Indigenous support worker at the school. “Particularly the Métis, with their mix of Indigenous and French heritage and with us being a French-immersion school fit together.”
The day incorporates members of the local Indigenous community, leadership students from other schools in the district, as well as parents and teachers.
“We thought it was a great way to embed Indigenous culture in different aspects of the curriculum,” said Anthony, “And it’s been a fabulous success. We have many kids in Grade 8 who still remember and talk about making their spoons in Grade 6.”
For the day, students engage in multiple different activities, from making their own musical spoons, to competing in a quiz race, and more.
“It’s been such an amazing success, not just in embracing and learning about the culture, but also in the history of who Louis Riel and the Métis people are,” said Anthony.
Originally the day at the school was held on the same Louis Riel Day in Manitoba, but was moved to a different date after B.C. introduced Family Day on the same date.
The day caps off with all 186 students in Grade 6 getting to play the spoons they made with the Métis elder teaching and leading them.
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