Celebrating Day of Sucwentwecw During the Pandemic

Posted On Tuesday April 07, 2020

This year’s Day of Sucwentwecw, on April 7,  was different for students across the district.

Usually, it is a day dedicated for them to invite an Elder, Knowledge Keeper or representative from one of the local bands in the Secwepemcul'ewc to be witness and welcomed. It is meant to be a day for students to share their learning, to learn more, and to participate in reconciliation with Aboriginal people through respect and acknowledgement.

Today however, during this global pandemic, The Day of Sucwentwecw was spent from a distance, acknowledging together, from the heart. Online resources and stories  shared among teachers were then shared with their students.

“Sucwentwecw, the Secwepemctsin word for acknowledging one another, is an initiative that recognizes and celebrates the Secwepemc people and the other Aboriginal people residing in the Secwepemculecw,” said Mike Bowden, District Principal, Aboriginal Education. “This year, we acknowledge and celebrate our elders by simply thanking them in our hearts. Keeping them safe, and protecting everyone’s safety, while taking thought for their teachings, we are keeping the spirit of this day alive for all of us.”

One example of numerous resources being shared between schools and among educators to help bring the experience of the Day of Sucwentwecw into learners’ homes is this storytelling video, by District Aboriginal Resource Teacher Kenthen Thomas.

The idea for the Day of Sucwentwecw was proposed in 2012 by the Kamloops Thompson Teacher’s Association’s Social Justice Committee and endorsed by the Aboriginal Education Council. It was approved by the Board of Education in 2014, well before the province revised the curriculum to include the First People’s Principles of Learning.  

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