A Falkland student’s knowledge and dedication to preserving aboriginal culture has earned top marks.
Sekoija Spencer, a Falkland Elementary student, won first place in the FORED BC Traditional Knowledge and Medicine-themed poster contest.
This annual poster contest celebrates the rich cultural and heritage traditions of B.C.’s aboriginal people.
Each year, FORED provides cash prizes to aboriginal youth in primary, intermediate and secondary grade levels. Spencer was awarded a $50 prize for first place in the primary division, along with intermediate winners Tiffany Pootlass and Lori Saunders (Bella Coola) and secondary winner Preston Squinas (Burns Lake).
“But more important than the cash prize, is that youths are learning from their elders about their own traditional knowledge, often used in healing and land stewardship,” said FORED program director Cheryl Ziola.
“If we don’t make an effort to preserve all that knowledge in some kind of written and artistic form, it may be lost forever.”
Hundreds of entries were received from all across B.C., including band schools, as part of FORED’s Aboriginal Heritage, Education & Dialogue (AHEAD) program.
“We also hope that seeing their talented poster work on our website, promoted in the media, and displayed at the Ministry of Education Office for National Aboriginal Day, will help foster a stay-in-school ethic for aboriginal youth, ideally increasing their Grade 12 completion rates,” said Ziola.
FORED BC Society, established in 1925, provides sustainability tools, resources and consulting to communities throughout B.C., including First Nations.