Rutland Middle School students spent the afternoon taking in Okanagan culture in celebration of National Indigenous Day.
The students were learning and experiencing traditional Okanagan stick games, powwows and a talking circle Friday afternoon.
“We are trying to honour what it is to be Indigenous,” said Lisa Middleton, Indigenous student advocate at Rutland Middle School.
“We want to bring some culture to the community and celebrate who we are.”
Middleton said it’s essential for students to not just learn about Indigenous culture, but take part in it as well.
“It’s huge. We lost it for so many years. To be able to celebrate it and give it back is great. We are celebrating the fact that we can honour this again in our families and our communities. We’re so proud to be bringing this to the community.”
Several of the events were led by students of the neighbouring school, Rutland Senior Secondary.
“I’m really proud of all of our kids,” said Candice McKendry, Indigenous student advocate at Rutland Senior Secondary.
“Especially our Indigenous leadership class that came over (from RSS). They’ve been sharing some personal stories, and they’ve really come a long way. We’re so proud of our kids and how much they’ve brought the grade eights together. They’re being really good role models, so we’re really proud.”
“The pride in our schools is incredible,” added Middleton.