Gad Ts’asdll: A Big Celebration

Student Emma Grinder decorates a stone with paint.
Unveiling of banners designed by Ken Hans, which represent the four teams Sk'aadg_aa Naay is divided into: left to right, North Chill, Windy Islands, Westcoasters and Eastern Risers.
The banners, designed by Ken Hans, represent the four teams that the Sk’aadGaa Naay student body is divided into. Left to right: North Chill, Windy Islands, Westcoasters and Eastern Risers

By Tawla Jaad — Aboriginal Day was celebrated at Sk’aad

Aboriginal Day was celebrated at Sk’aadgaa Naay Elementary School with a variety of activities that honoured the Haida territory on which the school is situated. An excitement-packed day began with Sophie Peerless’ Grade 5/6 class performing Raven Steals the Light. The class interpreted the story and presented a play in their own words in front of a Haida village set they built and painted themselves.

The school students were presented with Haida regalia made by Wally Pelton, Norina Gladstone, and Joan Moody. Students donned the regalia and brought it all to life as they performed the Men’s and Women’s Dances, Warrior Dance and the Bear Dance – students sprang from the audience running to join the dancers until almost the entire school was involved. The dance group, which is led by Henry Tyler Crosby, finished with the Haawa song to thank everyone for listening and participating in the performance.

The school’s student body is divided into four teams: Eastern Risers, North Chill, Westcoasters, and the Windy Islands. Banners designed by Ken Hans and painted by students and staff were unveiled, and now hang proudly in the school gymnasium.

Outside, a mural designed and painted by Billy Yovanovich and Fanny Aishaa, along with high school student Abby Fraser, was unveiled. The vibrant mural features Sk’aadgaa Naay’s logo – a naaw, salmon at different stages of their life cycle, a Haida village, and a colourful sunset with killer whale dorsal fins!

Students and teachers then headed to a near by beach to continue the days celebration in the sun. Traditional games such as doxsinaay and slippery stick were played, as well as a scavenger hunt, rock painting, tug-of-war, and followed by a salmon barbecue.

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