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Indigenous Peoples Day Celebrated At Char-Lan District High School
Indigenous Peoples Day Celebrated At Char-Lan District High School
Posted on 06/19/2023
Feryn King- Submitted by Char-Lan District High School Grade 9 student Dax Mader

On June 5th Char-Lan students celebrated Indigenous People's Day with two Indigenous guests. Students played Indigenous games with William Komaksiutiksak and learned about hoop dancing with Feryn King.

Indigenous People’s Day is celebrated on the 21st of June. This is a day where Canadians can celebrate and recognize the diverse culture of the First Nations, Inuit, and Metis’ people. The celebration of Indigenous people's day typically includes cultural events, such as traditional dances and music performances, as well as educational programs that go through the history and contributions of Indigenous people. Indigenous Peoples Day is a day to celebrate the vibrant cultures that have survived despite trauma.

William Komaksiutiksak was one of the guests who presented at Char-Lan who talked to the students about his story. William, who is also known as Northern Knowledge, is a young father of two, a cultural educator and rapper who loves to support his community. When William presented at Char-Lan, he taught the students, (grade 6-12), games he played in his hometown to make him stronger and ready to take on the rough weather, and he shared one of his unreleased songs. William is a very inspirational person who wants to spread his message across Canada. He is a firm believer in family, culture, and education.

 In addition to William, students also enjoyed a presentation by Feryn King, an Indigenous artist, and member of the Wolf Clan in Akwesasne. She is a professional international hoop dancer, virtual instructor, acrobatic performer, and a visual artist. She has travelled across Canada, some parts of the United States, and overseas in Europe. Feryn has performed at Char-Lan multiple times. Students are always amazed to see her dance with up to eighteen hoops at a time, and even got a tutorial on how to dance with hoops.

 Phoebe O'Connell, a grade nine student at Char-Lan, said, “I think it was a really interesting experience and really cool to see these artists and how they incorporate their cultures into their careers. They’re both incredibly talented and it was fascinating getting to hear them talk about themselves and their culture. Getting to participate in the activities was very fun and engaging.”

When asked what she would like to see for next year, she suggested that, “They continue to bring in different Indigenous artists and their different perspectives.”                

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