Students take part in National Aboriginal Day

Submitted by Guy Mandeville, CD, MNO Veterans’ Council ChairNAD studentsStudents from East Northumberland Secondary School’s
Native Studies class and their instructor, Guy Mandeville
(front row, left).

On June 21, students from East Northumberland Secondary School (ENSS) in Brighton went to Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton to participate in National Aboriginal Day celebrations.

Many of the students attended the Native Studies course available at the school. The course is taught by Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Veterans’ Council Chair Guy Mandeville.

The ENSS students took part in the opening and closing ceremonies by using the six-person ceremonial drum to accompany Mohawk singer and drummer Dustin Brant from the Tyendinaga reserve.

ENSS drummers also led the Round Dance.

Some of the activities at the celebration included drum making and leatherworking workshops and the students created poster boards of the Eastern Woodland Clans that were put on display at the celebration.

The ENSS Native Studies course began in 2009 and Mandeville teaches the class once a week for both semesters of the school year.  The students have attended National Aboriginal Day activities at CFB Trenton since the course was first introduced.

The course itself teaches students about First Nation, Métis and Inuit cultures.  The students make Medicine Wheels, dreamcatchers, moccasins, medicine pouches and hear stories about Aboriginal culture.

“It has been a pleasure to see young people appreciate the Aboriginal culture that has benefitted Canada greatly,” Mandeville wrote.

“Aboriginal awareness is a major focus in the Native Studies class and the students are like sponges, they want more every week.”

Students from the Grade 10 Civics class and Grade 11 Sociology class also attended the National Aboriginal Day celebrations with the Native Studies students.

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