Dean Heron and our Indigenous Skills team have had a lot of fun introducing the Build United project to students of all levels and capabilities. Build United brings students of all cultural backgrounds and skill levels together to learn tool use and safety. Recently the team was in Semiahmoo Territory with two groups of grade 5/6 students to create small pieces of Indigenous inspired regalia.
At the beginning of each session, Artist in Residence, Dean Heron, demonstrates tool safety and traditional carving methods before providing the students with their own implements. Throughout the workshops, the Indigenous Skills team and school instructors guide the students through the process of carving their own mini paddle pendant or rattle.
Throughout the workshop, youth learn traditional teachings around art designs and land-based understandings of relationship building. Additionally, when one learns how to braid for the first time with sinew, they develop an understanding of how valuable patience is to the creative process.
“When we break down the process of project design, tool safety, and finishing, the students start to see the connection between traditional and modern skills; this provides a great opportunity to talk about tool literacy and essential skills. It’s exciting to see students make the connection!”
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