The beautiful black and red button blanket banner boldly welcomed me to Kinnikinnick Elementary School in my language, and in the language of other members of the school community. As I enjoyed my school visit and marveled at the depth of education that Kinnikinnick students share with their teachers, I asked their principal about the obvious presence of aboriginal culture in her school.
With a sparkle in her eye, Cathy McCubbin spoke of welcoming everyone to the school to learn and to be together.
“It is so important that children see themselves clearly in the school to create the sense of belonging that we all need. [Respecting everyone’s culture] is what we do.”
As we toured the classrooms and hallways it was crystal clear that the spirit of the school is about respect and support. Cathy told me that the assemblies have regular cultural traditions, developed in partnership with cultural advisors from the Sechelt Indian Band and the SD 46 Aboriginal Team, that include welcoming and honouring songs.
As I left the school later in the afternoon, I glanced back at the banner.
? IY TE KWIYKWIY
It felt good to have visited Kinnikinnick Elementary School.