Photo: Oyoyocik visit the elementary school, Chief Mathews, in Old Masset
As part of the Oyoyocik Student Leadership Group's trip to Haida Gwaii, we are thrilled to share daily dispatches about their experiences during the trip.
To start our day, we visited Gudangaay Tlaats'gaa Naay Secondary School, a high school in Masset where we spent most of our time in a grade 10 English class, studying poetry. We got paired into groups with the students which led to building strong connections with each of them by creating our own poems, based off the seven teachings in Anishinaabe culture.
After that, we had lunch at a local food truck where we had the chance to laugh and talk amongst friends as well as the locals who worked there. As we began our journey to Chief Mathews elementary school in Old Masset, a reserve, we were all extremely excited to spend some time with the young kids who went to school there as well as learn a bit about how they incorporated so much of their cultural teachings into their days.
We were all amazed by how young these kids were and how they were so invested in learning their culture and so fluent in their language. In seeing how great the school was, and how devoted they were to ensuring that their culture lives on in each of these kids, even if they were Haida or not, was incredibly inspiring.
We continued by visiting some of the gift shops by the school where we were able to admire some of the local art being sold which gave us a little insight into the culture. Being surrounded by so much culture even if it wasn't our own, was incredibly heart-warming. Being from Winnipeg, we don't get to see much of our culture being represented in our daily lives and being here has made us all a little more hopeful for other nations and their ability to be able to reclaim their own more and more every day.
We finished off the day by spending an hour, walking along the beach searching for rocks and simply taking in the scenery that surrounded us. Breathing in the fresh air and listening to the waves as each of us spent a little time in reflection, made the day seem that much better.
Brianna | Grade 12 | Collège Jeanne-Sauvé
Cheyenne | Grade 12 | Glenlawn Collegiate
Kelsey | Grade 12 | J.H Bruns
Tameika | Grade 12 | Collège Béliveau
Mia | Grade 11 | Dakota Collegiate
Tieller | Grade 10 | Winsor Park Collegiate