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Clifton has fun in the sun on Treaty No. 1

May 12, 2021
Clifton - Outdoor Indigenous Day

Clifton School students participated in an outdoor learning day with an Indigenous focus on May 7. 

The Outdoor Fun on Treaty One event saw Nursery to Grade 6 students partaking in such schoolyard sessions as lacrosse, atlatl throwing, smudging, storytelling, tipi teachings, and a nature walk.

“We wanted to have a day outdoors with our students and it was really important for us to have an Indigenous perspective,” said Mary Hower, who teaches in the school’s Intermediate Language Centre. 

“When we were thinking about the day and being outdoors on the land, it just seemed appropriate, because every day during our morning announcements, we have the Treaty No. 1 land acknowledgment.”

The outdoor events happened simultaneously throughout the day. Clifton students were organized into seven groups, with each group representing an animal and one of the seven sacred teachings. 

For instance, the Nursery/Kindergarten group represented the bison and respect, while a Grades 3 and 4 group represented the beaver and wisdom. 

“We spent the last few weeks doing some pre-teaching with the students, preparing for the day, so every activity had an Indigenous component to it,” said Diana Reis, who teaches Grades 4 and 5.

“Myra Laramee, the division’s Traditional Knowledge Keeper, also supported us in planning the event,” Hower said. 

“She prepared some videos to help the kids understand smudging and the medicines. She also came to the school and talked with our planning committee ahead of the event.”

The outdoor learning sessions were presented by Clifton teachers, as well as Fort Whyte Alive and Tipi Joe Creations. Funding for the event came from a Children’s Heritage Fund grant. 


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