Students from Mount Sentinel Secondary School and Sequoia are seen here visiting Aqam school near Cranbrook, hosted by Bonnie Harvey from Ktunaxa Nation. Photo submitted

Celebrate local Indigenous cultures at the Capitol Theatre

School District 8 is hosting a pair of shows Thursday and Friday

Submitted by School District 8

Celebrating Indigenous knowledge and culture is at the core of Kootenay Lake School District’s commitment to Aboriginal Education. The district invites the community to participate in two upcoming initiatives happening at the Capitol Theatre this week.

From The Heart: One Day. One Circle, runs Thursday at Nelson’s Capitol Theatre, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Then on Friday, the district’s Indigenous Culture Celebration starts 6 p.m. at the Capitol.

The theatre art project, From the Heart: One Day. One Circle, is the culmination of the hard work and dedication of a small group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous students at Mount Sentinel Secondary that has been in the works for the past six months.

Mount Sentinel students, with the support of their Aboriginal Education teacher Andrea Mann, have co-created a narrative for the performance that addresses colonial history, while also sharing traditional teachings they learned working with many Elders, Knowledge Keepers, artists and other community members.

“I am so proud of these students,” says Mann, “for their courage, and for how they have built a strong and supportive circle for Indigenous students at our school.”

At its core, the collaborative project engages with the concepts of Truth, Resurgence and Reconciliation. Through the process, the students have created an experimental performance that fuses theatre, music, dance and media together to serve as a vehicle to promote meaningful dialogue and stimulate collective action toward a more just and sustainable future.

The project is one of four youth-led explorations across B.C., funded and supported by VIDEA, a non-profit organization that fosters justice-focused youth initiatives.

“It is exciting to see them leading and sharing culture with pride, and I really value the example they are setting for the younger ones coming up,” says Mann.

The following evening the district with co-host its fifth annual Indigenous Culture Celebration at the theatre. This year’s theme is Honouring Intergenerational Teachings and will include special guests from the Lower Kootenay Band (Yaqan Nukiy), the Colville Confederated Tribes and the Metis nations.

Tickets for both events can be purchased on the Capitol Theatre website: https://capitoltheatre.ca/events.

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