Grade 6/7 teacher Joslyn Bagg (left) and a student display one of the blankets.

Hazelton students present button blankets to elders at Wrinch Memorial Hospital

The project was a chance for students to learn about the importance of blankets in Gitxsan culture

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This event took place before a number of provincial restrictions pertaining to hospitals and care facilities in response to COVID-19

A number of elders at Wrinch Memorial Hospital received a special treat earlier this month when students from Majagaleehl Gali Aks Elementary (MGAE) dropped by to present them with button blankets made in the traditional Gitxsan style.

The ceremony was a culmination of work between MGAE Grade 6 and 7 students and the school’s Gitxsan Language and Culture teacher Gwen Simms.

READ MORE: Hazelton hospital second most crowded in B.C.

Working with Simms, students were able to learn about the significance of the button blankets within Gitxsan culture. This includes the importance of the crest, the meaning of the colours of the blanket and the Gitxsan tradition of leaving a mistake in the finished blanket, which is done so that future generations can have something to mend.

One by one, each one of the students presented a handmade blanket to an elder.

The school’s Grade 2/3 class was also present and serenaded the elders with a number of songs.

Grade 6/7 teacher Joslyn Bagg said the project was designed to honour the First Peoples Principles of Learning (FPPL) which is an element of the BC Curriculum which stresses that “learning ultimately supports the well-being of the self, the family, the community, the land, the spirits, and the ancestors.” The principle offers educators a number of guidelines to help incorporate a number of Indigenous theories of learning into the Province’s school system.

“Students used their learning to give back to their community,” said Bagg. “This helped the students connect to their community and realize that the past connects to the future and to move forward in [a] positive light one must recognize the past.”

Bagg said when a student was asked how she felt about this project, the student said it was a lot of work making the blankets but ‘it was worth it when they saw the looks of appreciation on the Elders faces’.

The class has completed numerous other blankets that they plan to give to elders in the school community during an April ceremony to thank them for their continued support of MGAE.

With B.C. schools currently suspended indefinitely due to COVID-19, it is unclear when this ceremony will take place.



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Closures and cancellations in the Bulkley Valley due to COVID-19

Many places and businesses have closed or reduced their hours

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Northern Health preparing ‘for a changing situation’ in response to COVID-19

The health authority is taking a number of measures to free up hospital capacity where possible

Concerns raised over publicly discarded masks, gloves

Deputy mayor says behaviour is simply unacceptable in time of elevated public health crisis

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

Most Read