Children between the ages of 6 to 12 years in Snaw-naw-as and Stz'uminus recently enjoyed an opportunity to participate in Cultural Day Camps within each of their respective communities. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the each group was kept to a small size and the majority of activities took place outdoors.
Each four session program was developed by Julie Rice-Wyse, Coordinator of 4 Seasons of Culture, with the main goal of strengthening cultural identity through activities, oral teachings and field trips.
Some of the activities included: ocean fishing using rod and reel, while listening to stories of traditional methods of fishing techniques; learning about the history of war canoe racing - then receiving a paddling demonstration and paddling in an oceangoing canoe; listening to the history of bone games (lahal) and learning the basics; weaving cedar headbands and bracelets; learning some Hul'qumi'num language in the form of a fun game in which participants would introduce themselves then toss a water balloon to the next participant who would then share their introduction; harvesting blackberries and receiving teachings on a variety of traditional foods as well as learning about the shift and introduction of new foods such as sugar and flour in today's diet; and receiving hands-on experience in making fried bread.
The last session of each program provided another memorable highlight - travelling to Victoria to check out the First Peoples Gallery with a keen focus on taking in Coast Salish cultural materials and history.
With so much positive feedback from participants, 4 Seasons of Culture will be creating similar programs for youth ages 12+ in KL member Nations.