First Nation elementary students from across the province gathered in Saskatoon for a celebration of language and culture Tuesday.
Students in grades 1 through 5 took part in crafts, drumming, beading, hoop dancing and language events as part of the fourth annual Indigenous Language Celebration at E.D. Feehan High School.
The purpose of the event is to expose children to their culture in a fun, interactive environment said Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) Chief Felix Thomas.
“The big thing is trying to get them to understand why it’s important, and learning to love the language,” Thomas said.
He said the language festival is one way to preserve their culture, which was eroded by the residential school era.
“The great things we’re seeing now is that a lot of these kids are starting to learn the language and they’re speaking it at home,” said Thomas, adding a domino effect is taking place whereby parents and grandparents are also encouraged to speak the language or take it up again.
Around 400 students from eleven STC member nation schools, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools and Saskatoon Public Schools took part in the day-long event.