Fourth Annual Teaching Round Dance
March was special for all grade nine and ten students at Carlton Comprehensive Public High School who were invited to experience their Fourth Annual Teaching Round Dance! The learning focused day included a pipe ceremony, breakout sessions, a feast, drumming and singing and the round dance itself. Preparing for the round dance started weeks ahead of time with weekly meetings. In a very traditional way the day before the round dance students were asked to help prepare the vegetables for the soup. Indigenous culture in the past has had the women performing this important role. A good time was had as we prepared and prayed for all the people who would be enjoying the Feast Food. The male students were tasked with serving the food and they were all giving protocol procedures for that role as well. Many of our girls and boys had experience in these roles from their home communities so many times it was the students teaching the teachers which was amazing to witness.
During the breakout sessions, students had a chance to learn a specific skill or teaching from one of the many experienced elders or experts we are lucky to have in our community. There were many sessions offered to students including: drumming and singing, raising a tipi, hoop dancing, pow wow dancing, living off the land, making bannock, beading, aboriginal spirituality and worldview, Metis jigging, traditional medicine, role of the elder in the community and the importance of protocol and procedure. It filled our First Nation students with pride to showcase the positive aspects of their Culture. Students walked a little taller and had pride in what was happening in the school. It was a beautiful day and everything went as planned.