May 27th, 2024

MHC hosting week-long Indigenous education program

By MEDICINE HAT NEWS on May 7, 2024.

Authentic Cree Tipis will stand on the college campus throughout the week as local students participate in KisKihkeyimowin, an education event that fosters understanding of Indigenous culture.--NEWS PHOTO BRENDAN MILLER

This week Medicine Hat public school Division students from Grade 4-10 have the opportunity to learn about the traditions of the Blackfoot, Cree and Metis cultures during KisKihkeyimowin, an educational event that fosters understanding and appreciation of Indigenous cultures.

KisKihkeyimowin means ‘sharing good teachings’ in Plains Cree and annually provides students an immersive look at Indigenous teachings through interactive activities inside authentic Cree Tipi structures.

Learning from Elders and Knowledge Keepers and other esteemed members of the community, students have the opportunity to engage in a circle of courage learning about talking circles and smudging.

They can also get hands on and try some traditional crafts like beading and finger weaving as well as learn to make dream catchers.

Students will also discover traditional dances, drumming, hands-on storytelling and rich cultural traditions.

KisKihkeyimowin is a community collaboration between the Medicine Hat College, Miywasin Friendship Centre and Indigenous community members who volunteered their time to contribute to the educational program.

First Nation, Metis and Inuit co-ordinator with the school division, Darrell Willier, says the community partnership is “instrumental in creating meaningful hands-on learning experience where students can learn about Indigenous culture and traditions.”

“Their contributions are essential in creating a meaningful learning experience for students and fostering reconciliation through cultural understanding,” the school board said in a press release.

Monday, Elder Charlie Fox was part of a traditional Indigenous grand entry and opening ceremony in the Ersman Theatre at the college.

The week-long learning event runs at the college until May 10 and is dedicated to student learning, however the public is welcome to check out the teepees after 4 p.m. daily.

KisKihkeyimowin replaces the previous ‘History in the Hills’ event but was relocated within city limits to accommodate more students and reduce transportation requirements.

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