Be the Change @ Wheatland Elementary
On December 15 students from Siksika Outreach School (SOS) brought a small, yet integral part of their Siksika culture to the Grade 3 classes at Wheatland Elementary School. As part of the Seeds Connections program, which these students joined in September, Disa Crow Chief, KC Calf Robe, Teya Rabbit Carrier and Tiahna Eagle Rib created a way to share their culture with non-First Nations students. The Connections program asked students involved to undertake a project that would help them make a change in community they would like to see. SOS students decided they wanted to bring greater awareness and acceptance of their culture to non-Native communities. They taught the grade 3 students the importance of the tipi in their Siksika culture. After the initial lesson, the SOS students showed the Grade 3 students how to make miniature Blackfoot tipis in the Siksika tradition.
The SOS students said how gratified they were by the enthusiasm and cooperation of the Wheatland students and their teachers. “The children were so motivated and we were very moved by their acceptance of our stories” said Disa Crow Chief. KC Calf Robe, whose artistic skills were much in demand, noted how the eagerness of the Wheatland students made them feel that they were doing something important and meaningful. The teachers were also incredibly inviting and kind.
Said Tiahna, “I really liked how after we finished the instruction in one class and moved on to the next we found that the first class was researching even more on their own and had created a tipi village with a Siksika flag in the center. We were overwhelmed over this. They actually started making the tipis and putting into practice what we had taught…joining in the hands-on activity was fun, rewarding and exceeded our expectations.
Disa CC noted that it was cool how we gave them our perspective instead of them having of pre-conceived notions as so often happens with First Nations people. “They could see us how we are and not how we are portrayed by media.”
KC Calf Robe remarked that the Wheatland Elementary students were studying community; “as we were leaving and I heard them thanking us and giving hugs and I noticed their tipi villages: it felt like we were family."
Article Written by the students from SOS