Vernon elementary school shares colourful lesson with community | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon elementary school shares colourful lesson with community

A new display of wooden salmon on the outer Alexis Park Elementary school fence in Vernon is pictured in this submitted photo. The reason behind the wooden salmon is a special tribute to the Okanagan People.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / School District 22
November 04, 2019 - 6:30 PM

Alexis Park Elementary students in Vernon have been learning the stories, How Food Was Given and the Four Food Chiefs and are now sharing it with the community.

The Four Chiefs are Skmxist (Bear), Ntitiyix (Salmon), Spitlem (Bitterroot) and Siya (Saskatoon Berry). As the story goes, the chiefs held many meetings and talked for a long time about what the People-To-Be would need to live and what contribution the chiefs could make.

Last year, a generous donation of wood was supplied to the school by Tolko Industries and Coldstream Lumber, and that was the start of a long line of working as a team to get the project done.

Students and teachers from Seaton Secondary cut the wood into the shape of salmon, then each Alexis Park student was given a wood carving to paint.

Last week, the first phase of the project finally came to fruition as each student had the opportunity to fasten a salmon to the schoolyard fence that runs along 43 Avenue.

Image Credit: SUBMITTED / School District 22

“The students are very proud of the work they have done,” Kathy Morgan, Aboriginal Support Worker at Alexis Park Elementary, said in a press release.

“Today, they really get to honour how food was given to them and we all look forward to building upon this project, year-after-year until we can show all four of the Food Chiefs.”

Principal Michael Sutch said between working with Tolko and Coldstream Lumber, and the students and teachers at Alexis Park and Seaton the project has been collaborative giving students a stronger sense of community.

Once students placed their salmon on the fence, they each received a gift of a cedar salmon necklace from the Aboriginal Education Department to honour their involvement in the school initiative.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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