Every Monday afternoon for three weeks in February and March, students at Champlain Elementary School experienced cultural traditions, music, history, crafts and art of Nova Scotia’s First Nations, African Nova Scotian and Acadian communities.

Each week, students and staff welcomed eight instructors from the Bear River First Nation, two instructors from the African Nova Scotian community and several members of the Acadian community to lead students in 17 different cultural enrichment workshops. Students were able to select their top three choices for workshops.

Bear River First Nation Education Coordinator Tina Dixon worked closely with CES Principal Lynn Winter, gathering a variety of presenters to lead sessions on everything from quill art to drumming, petroglyphs to storytelling. Dixon says the enrichment workshops were a positive opportunity for community members and students alike.

“For me, to have our community take part in a school activity, to feel included, that speaks volumes. It’s great to see the instructors out of their comfort zones, supporting their children, grandchildren or nieces and nephews at the school, and also sharing their knowledge. The presenters felt that what they were offering was valued, and they enjoyed being welcomed to the school.”

Dixon goes on to point out that she was pleased to find CES students already had some knowledge of Mi’kmaq traditions and culture.

“Rather than asking stereotypical ...

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