Carlton Indigenous Day returns with new date and indoors

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald The Grand Entry opened the day at Carlton Indigenous Day on Friday.

Carlton Comprehensive High School is hosting Indigenous Day on Wednesday, Oct. 4 and organizers have planned a full day of activities to recognize the cultural diversity on the campus.

Traditionally the grand entry has been held outdoors on the soccer pitch and this year it will be indoors at the CPAC.

“We realize that we cannot control the weather, and this has been an issue in the past,”Carlton teacher and member of the organizing committee Bonnie Vandale wrote in an email. “The committee has also decided that there is more room in the CPAC and everyone should be comfortable and all that want to attend will be able to.

“This year’s Indigenous day is not open to the public, as we hope to get as many of our students and staff involved in this cultural event,” she added.

The event is falling after National Indigenous People’s Day this year after being held before it in previous year. Regardless of the date, Vandale wrote that the event has become a fall tradition.

“Our Indigenous Day here at Carlton has become a yearly event that we wholeheartedly stand behind,” Vandale wrote. “It brings awareness to non-indigenous students, but also creates a sense of community and pride in one’s culture. We want to recognize and celebrate people on Treaty 6 territory, and we feel that our event is an act towards reconciliation.”

One of the original organizers was the late Victor Thunderchild, who was remembered during the event in 2021. Calton plans to honour him again this year.

“We will share one power point from the Victor Thunderchild Memorial Scholarship recipients. His short video showcases the scholarship and mentions some of the qualities that Victor possessed,” Vandale wrote.

Thunderchild was a beloved educator at the school who passed away due to COVID-19 in April, 2021.

The Grand Entry will open at CPAC with speeches from dignitaries beginning at 9:30 a.m. This year, there will be both morning and afternoon breakout sessions for student.

She thanked the committee for all of their hard work, which she said sometimes goes unnoticed.

“I would like to thank my committee that puts their heart and soul into making this day great! We are a great team, and you will know who we are this year as we made matching ribbon skirts (red) and our Indigenous Day shirts (gold in color),” Vandale wrote.