On March 21, an all-schools feast was held in the Witset Multiplex.
Every Grade 5 student in Bulkley Valley School District 54 was invited to come and learn about the Witsuwit’en feast system, to enhance the in-class they’ve been enjoying all year.
The event was very well attended: students from Muheim Elementary School, Walnut Park Elementary School, Telkwa Elementary School, Silverthorne Elementary School, Twain Sullivan Elementary School and Moricetown Elementary Secondary School came out.
The feast was scheduled for 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and included a sandwich lunch, teachings by many of the village elders and chiefs, and a heartwarming round of thank-you speeches. Each of the schools presented beautiful gifts to their Witsuwit’en mentors.
One of the goals of the day was to teach feast protocol, which is handed down from generation to generation. Popular among villagers is the protocol that everyone is expected to dance during the musical segment — clan members are not allowed to be shy! During the thank-you speeches, one youth announced that his favourite part of the event was the dancing, which suggests that our guests are taking away an excellent life lesson.
This wonderful project was organized by Birdy Markert, Jana Fox, and Priscilla Michell (the school board trustee and Aboriginal Education Council chair); it was hosted by the Laksilyu clan.
Our thanks to the Witset chiefs for allowing us this opportunity.
–Submitted by Christine Bruce with Witset First Nation.