Three teepees were set up behind Centennial Park Elementary School on Friday as part of National Aboriginal Day.

Three teepees were set up behind Centennial Park Elementary School on Friday as part of National Aboriginal Day.

Teepees At School comes to Abbotsford

Touring group teaches students at Centennial Park Elementary about Aboriginal heritage.

Three teepees could be seen behind Centennial Park Elementary School in Abbotsford on Friday morning.

In celebration of National Aboriginal Day (June 21) the group Teepees At School, came out to the Valley to teach students a little bit about Aboriginal culture.

Tony Solomon, one of the organizers of the program said the group works across North America, but specializes in the Lower Mainland. The program has been going on for the past 12 years.

“Sometimes we just come to a school for the day and each class comes in for 45 minutes or so,” he explained.

On Friday, the group ran two classes simultaneously, allowing students to move back and forth to different teepees.

“Sometimes we do a camp at a school. Last year we were at Bradner Elementary School. We brought a whole bunch of teepees, set them up and we had activities in them … Then at night we had a big campfire and all the students got to sleep in the teepees,” explained Solomon.

On Friday, students learned about how teepees work, saw examples of Aboriginal art, baskets and other items.

They were also welcomed by Alvin Stevens Jr. who sang and played the drum.

School principal Bonnie Iftody said the program is a great opportunity for students to see what housing and life was like for Canada’s Indigenous people.

“We have a number of Aboriginal students in our school, but we want everyone to learn about Canada’s history.”

Students from Kindergarten to Grade 5 participated in the sessions.