Katrina Fiddler and Bethany Durocher helped organize this year’s Ecole Gron Morgan Cultural Powwow.
“I’ve been (helping) plan this ever since Grade 6,” said Fiddler, a Grade 8 student originally from Sandy Lake.
“If you don’t know anything about your past, I think it’s important for the kids to know where they are from, what they used to do back then.”
Fiddler said her family is “pretty traditional” and they like to hear her talking about the traditional ways of life.
“They like what I do in the school, helping to plan the powwow,” Fiddler said, explaining she has been involved right from the start in planning the event over the past two months. “I like having the powwow in the school because it shows the (other students) how we really are and that we are not so different.”
Durocher, a Grade 7 student, said her parents are happy to see the traditional work she does at school, such as working with hides.
“They say ‘wow,’ make some more,” Durocher said.
She said it is important to learn more about the traditional ways “so we can pass it on.”
“I would like to see more Aboriginal stuff in the school,” Durocher said, explaining the information provided at the annual event is new to her and her family.
The two students are part of Ecole Gron Morgan’s leadership program. Six other students from the program also helped during the event.
“These students do assist with any event when asked,” said Nathaniel Moses, youth outreach worker at Ecole Gron Morgan.
“They also do assist the whole school, for example (with) lunch programming and bus buddies.”
Moses said the leaders’ role at the event was to host visitors to the school.
“Their objective is to make sure things are flowing properly and to ask every visitor if they are comfortable,” Moses said. “Maybe they could share some coffee, treats and so on.”
Moses said Fiddler is one of the school’s top students and she was nominated for a youth achievement award last year.
“She’s actually been a leader to kind of choose the leaders to help out today,” Moses said.
The event provides the leaders with a positive learning experience as they work with different people from across the city, Moses said.
“The volunteers are here to stay and they will continue to do their good work,” Moses said. “For the future, volunteering is a good way to do things.”
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