Grateful for aboriginal education program

I am disappointed that in your special feature you failed to acknowledge one of the most important education programs in our city, namely the aboriginal education program at Trafalgar Middle School, led by Danica Lee.

Re: Celebrating Education in Nelson, March 9

I am disappointed that in your special feature you failed to acknowledge one of the most important education programs in our city, namely the aboriginal education program at Trafalgar Middle School, led by Danica Lee.

Funded by the provincial government, it helps to integrate and give expression to the aboriginal students at Trafalgar. This program allows students to explore and take pride in our heritage through the medium of art and the other activities that honour our culture. Some of these include: traditional craft making such as drums, moccasins, beading and story-telling.

The program also provides subsidized field trips to places like Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump, in Alberta, and give us the opportunity to experience firsthand the ways of our ancestors. Our drum circle has performed at the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Olympics and at various venues in Nelson, most recently at Rosemont school to open their similar, smaller program, inspired by the one at Trafalgar.

Personally I am very grateful for the ab-ed program which has allowed me to understand an important part of my family history specifically, and aboriginal peoples in Canada in general.

The “exclusion” of Trafalgar’s ab-ed program is a sad reminder to me and my fellow students that it is necessary for us, and all aboriginal people, to keep the fires of our struggle not to be forgotten, burning.

Abby Mandel, Age 12, Trafalgar School