Heritage Week: keeping the culture alive

Heritage week will take place on Feb 2 – 25 at Nak’albun school in Fort St. James.

  • Feb. 17, 2016 12:00 p.m.
Nak'albun School is gearing up for their annual Heritage Week festivities.

Nak'albun School is gearing up for their annual Heritage Week festivities.

Barbara Latkowski

Caledonia Courier

Heritage week will take place on Feb 2 – 25 at Nak’albun school in Fort St. James.

It will be a week filled with fun, history, the great outdoors and mostly, culture.

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 will be 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, will allow the kids to see how medicines are made and what healing affects they can have.

The week will conclude with the ever popular winter Olympics which will be held on Friday Feb. 26. This event will take place outdoors and each teacher from Nak’albun will set up a station for students to attempt and conquer.

“We try to make this as fun and special for the kids as we can,” Sam said.