Students at E.S. Richards elementary school are working on songs, murals and collages to help launch Culture Days in Mission. / Kevin Mills Photos

Mission to celebrate culture during three-day event

Culture Days 2018 takes place Sept. 28-30

Culture Days begins in Mission on Sept. 28 with a full day of events for the community to enjoy.

The official launch of the three-day celebration is a special showcase put on by the students of Edwin S. Richards Art Based Curriculum School called Flight: Through Eagle’s Eyes.

The launch begins at 11 a.m. with a musical performance by half the students, followed by and interactive art display. The event wraps up just before noon with a second musical performance, by the other half of the students.

The song being performed was learned for the Spring Celebration last year and consists of singing and movement to the song Touch the Sky from the movie, Brave.

Sharon Widdows, principal of the school said they are excited to participate in Culture Days 2018 and want to invite the community to the school to explore how students are learning through the arts.

As an arts-based curriculum school, every year they choose a theme.

“Last year the theme was flight and because we are working very hard to infuse Aboriginal perspective into our curriculum, we thought we would tell a story through the eyes of an eagle,” explained Widdows.

Students created and wore traditional eagle masks, narrated a story in English – with a few words in Halq’eméylem – about things an eagle might see while flying and performed a finale song.

“For the purpose of Cultural Days we are showing the community how students can learn math through visual arts,” said Widdows.

Each class is creating a mural to be displayed in the gymnasium of what an eagle might see.

Students will need to brainstorm with each other and rely on background knowledge to create a visual display of their response. Next, students will connect mathematically with their collages by identifying math equations that emerge within each collage.

For example, an eagle may see one salmon plus three eggs, equaling four things.

Students will write Math sentences on post-it notes and stick them on and around the collages.

During the event, the community will be invited to add more mathematical equations to the display as shared input from a variety of people is a valuable learning tool.

“I know that one of our classes is going down to Heritage Park and their students are going to map out the ruins of St. Mary’s. So what might the eagle see as they’re flying over Heritage Park or over some area of Mission, over the school, over the river.”

Widdows said the students are excited about the event and are looking forward to showing their work to the public.

The Culture Days launch isn’t the only event taking place on Sept. 28, it is also Orange Shirt Day.

Widdows said students, staff, and many other people from the Mission School District, will be honouring those who spent time in residential schools. A short Aboriginal song will also be performed for Orange Shirt Day, at the beginning of the open house.


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