A feast at the Community Complex in Witset was held to celebrate the area’s graduates at all levels of education.
To kick the ceremony off, Wet’suwet’en youth were led into the hall dressed in their cap and gowns by the chiefs of their respective clans.
“It’s sort of traditionally set so that each clan has their section to sit in and the kids are walked through with their clan chief. It’s to celebrate their education, but still have that traditional and cultural component to it,” said Aaron Burgess, Witset’s assistant education director and an elementary school teacher.
Out of respect for the recent loss of a community member there was no drumming or singing during the evening, and those gathered took a moment of silence before the feast began.
“There’s been a death in the community, so it [wasn’t] as celebratory as it often is in the past few years,” said Burgess.
Elementary school, high school, adult education, trades, and post-secondary students were brought up individually to be presented with a certificate; graduates, from those preparing to enter high school to those getting their doctorate, were celebrated for their accomplishments. Financial awards were presented to students with the top attendance, marks, and math grades.
Burgess said around 30 or 40 staff members of the Kyah Wiget Education Society worked together to make the feast a success.
“Everybody pitches in a little bit,” he said.
He said this marks the fourth year the graduation feast has been held.
“It’s really awesome to recognize the kids.”