Students watch their classmates dancing a traditional pow wow. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Students watch their classmates dancing a traditional pow wow. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

PHOTOS: ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ tribal school celebrates Indigenous Day with Yellow Wolf Powwow

Traditional drumming, singing and dancing brings school together in celebration

Traditional drummers, a Powwow and a delicious feast marked ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ tribal school’s Indigenous Day celebrations.

The school hosted its celebrations a day early as the students and teachers had Friday off to mark the national occasion. Adult members and elders of the four local First Nations attended; from the Tsawout, Tseycum, Pauquachin and Tsartlip. Children from those communities attend the school and it was a chance for them to join together to celebrate their heritage.

ALSO READ: Tsartlip drummers open Chief Dan George exhibition in Sidney

A team from the school, including Maryann Gladstone, Robin Cooper and Nancy Eassie, worked with the community group, YellowWolf Powwow Committee, to put on the celebration. Angel Sampson was the lead organizer and worked with the committee and her family members to put on a memorable event.

The Powwow took place on the school’s soccer pitches and, thanks to funding from the First Nations Health Authority, also had mini golf, bouncy castles and a PA system, adding to the festival atmosphere. Sampson feels the event complements the work the school already does.

“They have a language immersion program here, children from the day-care right the way to high school are involved in the language, drumming and singing and doing so much that is a part of our culture. We’re very fortunate that people from the community get involved with the school programs and that there are teachers that know about our background and history, and what direction they want the children to go in,” said Sampson.

ALSO READ: Province invests $2.7 million in Indigenous teacher education training

Sampson’s brother, Muz, led proceedings. He welcomed everyone, gave a few words of context and gently marshalled the children through the different stages of the Powwow.

Three traditional singing and drumming groups performed, attracting interested children who came and watched.

The students sat in a single line that made up three sides of a square, with the fourth side taken up by the drumming groups. The centre of the square was the dancing area. A group of young students wearing colourful traditional dress started dancing and were quickly joined by teachers and students who followed them around in a circular motion. The students watched, then silently and without prompting, got up and ran to join in when the moment took them. At some point every student was dancing, and children would drift back to the edges of the square for a rest before re-joining the throng once they had caught their breath. The Powwow had a joyous vibe, with the students dancing under a bright blue sky, before a backdrop of tall trees and mountains.

ALSO READ: Youth activism pushes Central Saanich to declare ‘climate emergency’

Afterwards, the children returned to their classrooms and the adults enjoyed a lunch made by the community and Sampson’s family.

“Every dancer has their own dance style, there are traditional dancers, jingle dress dancers and I think I saw fancy dancers,” says Sampson. “Every dance style has its history and its story, and everybody’s got their own reasons for why they were drawn to that particular dance style. More than anything, as a young person, they dance for those who can’t dance anymore.”

For more information on ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ tribal school visit wsanecschoolboard.ca.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

First Nations

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Throat singing and drumming group Westwind gave a well-received performance. There were two other groups, one from the USA, called War Hawk. A young boy watches intently. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Throat singing and drumming group Westwind gave a well-received performance. There were two other groups, one from the USA, called War Hawk. A young boy watches intently. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

One of the students in traditional dress performing a dance. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

One of the students in traditional dress performing a dance. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Two young girls twirl and swirl as they performed an energetic dance. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Two young girls twirl and swirl as they performed an energetic dance. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Some delicious crab freshly caught for the feast. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Some delicious crab freshly caught for the feast. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Angel Sampson, her family and friends had prepared a lavish spread. Soon all the guests were eating happily.(Nick Murray/News Staff)

Angel Sampson, her family and friends had prepared a lavish spread. Soon all the guests were eating happily.(Nick Murray/News Staff)

Just Posted

Kennedy Nikel, applied marine biologist at Cascadia Seaweed, here seen in late September, shows off bull kelp (in her left hand) and rock weed. The company is spear-heading an annual seaweed festival scheduled for May 13-21, 2021, with Sidney council have signed off in principle. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Cascadia hopes to see Sidney host seaweed festival in May 2021

Council supports the idea in principle following a presentation by Cascadia Seaweed

GIF
’90s rock band resurfaces with songs never properly recorded or released

Underwater Sunshine’s online reunion involves four guys who lost contact for years

Tim Siebert, one half of the partnership behind Citrus & Cane, says opening the Douglas Street cocktail lounge during a pandemic had challenges, but the bar is ready to adapt to whatever comes next. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
New Victoria tropical cocktail lounge designed with COVID-19 safety in mind

Citrus & Cane opens in site of former Copper Owl after eight-month delay

Trevor Davis, base manager of the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation in Sidney, stands in front of the Hecate Sentinal, an oil skimming vessel based at Sidney’s Van Isle Marina. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Oil spill response base taking shape on Saanich Peninsula

Enhanced base with elements in North Saanich and Sidney to be fully operational in fall 2022

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read