Jan 21
January 2022

Happy New Year! It's been wonderful to return to in-person learning on January 10. With the warmer temperatures, students have been spending time outdoors enjoying special opportunities to celebrate the fresh and bright winter season. This has become a regular part of our day as students take time to listen to the stillness and experience our interconnectedness with nature. Children can often be seen marching over the bridge to Shagannapi Park and carefully looking for changes throughout the season. Such a meaningful opportunity to observe and discover an urban city park through the five senses, later creating pictures and poems in their visual journals to describe their feelings and new understandings.

As part of our learning of Indigenous ways of knowing, we have been listening and learning from Blackfoot Elder Shirley Hill (Pretty Sound Bird Woman) from Siksika Nation. Students quickly connected with her messages of 'you are loveable' and the importance of the animals such as the bison, wolf, and horse. Elder Shirley shared stories of the Buffalo days, the bison jump and the need for us to be caretakers of the land (Mother Earth) and respect it and everything connected to Na'a. Our students described their time with Elder Shirley as heartfelt and thought-provoking as she shared cultural protocols to set daily intentions and the meaning of the medicine wheel, Niitsitapi, and the dog days. Elder Shirley also shared historical information about residential schools, truth and reconciliation, and the impact on her own family. As Elder Shirley is a fancy dancer, students took part in a dance opportunity to experience the feeling of dancing to Indigenous cultural music. Sunalta students look forward to spending more time with Elder Shirley and Lemon the Bear later this year. Elder Shirley noted that Sunalta students are exceptionally kind, ask incredible questions, and are very respectful of her culture.

Kindergarten registration opened on January 17, 2022 and we are excited to welcome a new group of students for fall 2022. If you have any questions about Sunalta School, please reach out to us at (403) 777-8590 sunalta@cbe.ab.ca



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