A Portage school gave their students an opportunity to be a part of the setting up and taking down of a tipi last week while also learning about the cultural aspect of it.
Alan Patterson, Vice Principal at La Verendrye School, says this came about for his school because the Portage la Prairie Community Revitalization Corporation (PCRC) asked if it would be okay to set up a tipi on school grounds during Winterfest, which was taking place that week.
"It worked out perfectly with I Love to Read Month," says Patterson.
The Vice Principal explains that members of the Bear Clan and PCRC came down, set up the tipi and read children's stories to add some indigenous perspective to the whole process.
"They actually also brought a smudge kit and drum. So, it was an excellent opportunity for our kids."
Patterson adds that the school received a burn permit allowing them to have a fire in the tipi, which was essential for the warmth of everyone.
"It was nice to have a little bit of a fire in there so that we can keep the kids and the members warm that were doing the reading and the speaking in there."
He notes that he and the school were happy to have the PCRC and Bear Clan down for this fantastic session.
"We know everything about reconciliation and what it means to the community and what it means to indigenous people," continues Patterson. "Our kids greatly appreciated the opportunity."
Patterson says that the PCRC and Bear Clan want to do this at other schools as well, which he thinks would be huge for the community's growth and understanding of different cultures.