Heritage Week: keeping culture alive in Fort St. James

Every February, Nak’albun Elementary School continues to keep culture alive and well in Fort St. James.

  • Mar. 2, 2016 8:00 p.m.
Violet Prince shares stories during Heritage Week at Nak'albun School.

Violet Prince shares stories during Heritage Week at Nak'albun School.

Barbara Latkowski

Caledonia Courier

Every February, Nak’albun Elementary School continues to keep culture alive and well in Fort St. James.

From Feb. 2 – 25, children, teachers and community members engaged in a week full of history, story-story telling, outdoor survival skills and most of all, just some good old fashioned fun.

Sara Sam, the organizer of Heritage Week at the school says that even though this type of thing might be part of the school curriculum, it’s still so important to the school community and not just for students but for staff as well.

“I like to share the knowledge of our Carrier language, our culture and our traditions,” Sam said.

“It’s also all about the oral history and keeping it alive. In years past, people did not have televisions. They relied on storytelling and having these stories passed down from generation to generation.”

The event has been running for over 20 years and Sam says that it keeps getting more and more popular with schools from outside Fort St. James.

“David Hoy will be participating in various events this year and we’ve also had schools join us from Prince George, Vanderhoof and Frasier Lake,” Sam said.

The week was full of various activities including: medicine stations, ice fishing, drum making, drumming and storytelling at the campfire and trapping demonstrations.

“Activities like this are also important for survival,” Sam says.

“You never know when a tornado or earthquake will hit. Or if you get lost, would you know what to do? It’s so important that we teach survival skills today.”

Even the medicine displays, according to Sam, allow the kids to see how medicines are made and what healing affects they can have.

The week concluded with the ever popular winter Olympics which will be held on Friday Feb. 26.

 

 

 

 

 

Caledonia Courier