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Students Experience Indigenous Games and Cultural Learning at Aamjiwnaang First Nation and Bkejwanong Territory

Earlier this month, grade 5 students from eight elementary schools across the St. Clair Catholic District School Board (SCCDSB) as well as Bkejwanong Kinomaagewgamig Elementary School in Walpole Island First Nation, and Hillside Elementary School in Kettle and Stony Point First Nation. The two-day event at Aamjiwnaang First Nation and Bkejwanong Territory was an enriching event for was centered around Indigenous Games, including lacrosse, archery, and the traditional game of Ding Ball.

The students engaged in hands-on experiential learning directly from Elders, Knowledge Carriers, and Youth Lacrosse Mentors. Beyond participating in the sports, they listened to stories of hunting, trapping, and fishing, explored the cultural significance of the healing game of lacrosse, and enjoyed music that fostered group connection. The event was lauded as a tremendous success, with active participation from students and support from teachers.

“It was a good day for everyone to come together and learn from the natural environment. Being on the land together brings learning to a better level,” said Cedric Isaac from Bkejwanong Territory.

Event organizers expressed their gratitude, stating, “We had such a terrific two days of Indigenous Games, connecting on the land at Aamjiwnaang First Nation and Bkejwanong Territory, learning first-hand from Elders and Knowledge Keepers, learning from youth role models, and making new friends! Thank you to every school for your support in sending the youth to be part of this experience and to the teachers for being so active with everyone too! The students were so fantastic and actively engaged!”

St. Clair Catholic Indigenous Education Lead, Cortnee Goure would like to give a special acknowledgment to the planning team: Tyler White, Adrian Murphy, Tony Jacobs, Rocky Sands, Cedric Isaac, Leigh Ann Isaac, Sandra Isaac, Pat Demeter, Dennis Segeren, Matt Serruys, and George Stoukas. Their efforts in organizing the fall PD day and bringing it all together for this event were highly praised. The event also enjoyed favorable weather, adding to the positive experience.

Gchi Miigwech to all who made this inspiring event possible, enhancing cultural understanding and creating lasting memories for the students.