National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD) is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate the cultural richness and contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.
For centuries, many of the first inhabitants would celebrate the arrival of the warm weather and the pleasures of the summer solstice.
The summer solstice is the day of the year with the longest light. It is a day with spiritual significance for many people and is a good time to celebrate Indigenous peoples and cultures!
Across the division, we asked our schools to plan events to support awareness, education and reconciliation. Listed below are all of the exciting things schools have planned to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day.
Columbia School/Dr. Brass School:
- Students and staff at Dr. Brass School and Columbia School will celebrate the day together, there will be a Pow Wow dance demonstration, a Round dance, an Honour song and recognition of the schools Wisdom Keeper. This will be followed by a soup and bannock lunch for all.
Esterhazy High School:
- Grade 10 - 12 Students will be participating in the Kairos Blanket Exercise and watching "The Grizzlies" (Please read below for information on the Kairos Blanket Exercise and the feature film)
M.C. Knoll School:
- Grade 5 students head to Downtown Yorkton to take part in the Summer Solstice Celebrations.
Melville Comprehensive School:
- Students will be attending the Melville Millionaires baseball game in the morning (Due to the rain, the game has now been rescheduled to Monday, June 24) - at the game, NIPD will be recognized by MLA Warren Kaeding, and there will be a drum presentation.
Victoria School and Kamsack Comprehensive Institute:
- Following an opening prayer, K-Gr.9 students will be joined by a guest speaker to discuss truth and reconciliation.
- K-4 students painted first nations flag with help from a local artist, these flags will be carried through the streets during the parade, celebrating the culture and recognizing that we are on Treaty 4 Territory. The day will then close out with food and visiting.
Yorkdale Central School:
- Grade 8 students have been working hard to complete their reconciliation art project. 13 pieces of art representing the provinces and territories will be permanently displayed in the school.
We are looking forward to seeing pictures from our schools celebrating!
*The Kairos Blanket Exercise
is a unique and engaging Canadian history lesson developed in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers, and educators. It fosters understanding, respect, and reconciliation among Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
The movie, The Grizzlies, is based on the true story of Russ Sheppard, who grew up in Esterhazy and then taught in Kugluktuk, Nunavut. The movie is educational and contains some serious content/themes related to the residential school legacy, addictions, trauma, suicide, resilience, reconciliation, and hope. A trailer of the movie can be found at the link above.*