School bullying incident turns into teaching moment
Valley View Public School holds a pow wow with members from Wahnapitae First Nation so the students can learn about the Indigenous culture. November 18, 2019 (Alana Everson/CTV Northern Ontario)
SUDBURY -- A recent case of bullying at a Sudbury elementary school has turned into a positive learning experience.
Valley View Public School, in the Greater Sudbury community of Val Caron, held its first-ever pow-wow after an aboriginal student was bullied for a vest he was wearing recently.
Grade four student Lincoln Tyson was picked on by other kids who told him he doesn't look native, but Monday he was able to drum at the pow wow organized to teach the students more about the Indigenous culture.
"It was Orange Shirt Day and I was wearing this vest and I got made fun of for it, so I put it in my bag," said Tyson.
Lincoln confided in a staff member at the school about the incident.
Lee-Ann Wotton is an early childhood educator at the school.
"Shame on them for saying that to you and I am so sorry, but what can we do at the school for your culture that you love so much?" Wotton asked the boy.
Lincoln’s answer was to hold a pow wow.
Students had the opportunity to dance in a circle and learned the significance of it.
Kirby Mianskum attended the school event as a guest speaker.
"Significantly, the idea is to come together in a good way. Celebration of song and dance and that’s what we do," said Mianskum.
Eleanor Desforges is a grade five student.
"I learned that you are supposed to be very respectful towards people, and not to treat them differently because they are different, like not to treat them badly and stuff," said Desforges.
Students also learned about the jingle dress and dance, part of First Nations women's pow wow regalia.
Lori Corbiere is a Wahnapitae First Nation member who taught the students about the cultural significance of the jingle dress.
"Our jingle dress is our healing dresses that we like to dance for our sick loved ones. Other people will give us tobacco, a pouch of tobacco, in order to dance for their family member that is sick," said Corbiere.
For Lincoln, the pow wow is helping to heal the hurt of being bullied for being native. He now wears his vest with pride.
"I learned that people should never bully people for who they are," said Tyson.
The guest speaker told the students that everybody’s blood is the same and most important principles for everyone to follow are kindness, generosity, honour, and respect.
Catch Alana Everson's video report on CTV News Northern Ontario on air and online soon.
SUDBURY -- Elementary students in the Greater Sudbury community of Val Caron are learning about Indigenous culture through a pow wow and feast on Monday.
The entire school community at Valley View Public School is taking part in a pow wow circle that will include guests from Wahnapitae First Nation.
The event's theme is "Cultural Awareness" and will feature drummers and dancers in regalia, traditional and often sacred clothing, accessories, and artifacts worn or carried during various ceremonies.
Students will eat traditional tacos made with bannock.
There will also a display of moccasins students have made featuring First Nation, Métis, and Inuit designs.
Kindergarten students will learn about the colours, symbols, and meaning for each part of the Medicine Wheel.
Over 600 students will take part in the day dedicated to learning more about the Indigenous cultural.
CTV Northern Ontario's Alana Everson will bring us more from the event.