On June 22, the École Élémentaire Rivière Rideau of the Kemptville Campus held a smudging ceremony to welcome the beginning of summer and the end of the school year.
After the smudging ceremony, the event, held in French, was put on Facebook Live to include the students who were not able to be there in person.
Mme Katy Rankin-Tanguay, coach in support of First Nation’s Students for the Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l’Ontario (CEPEO), was invited to lead the ceremony and speak to the students. She explained that for Indigenous peoples, the solstice is not just one day but a number of days that mark the half point of the year.
Mme Katy emphasized that this time is one to recognize and appreciate each element of the natural world: by watching them, said Mme Katy, human beings can learn so much about how to live.
Staff at École Élémentaire Rivière Rideau said that the event was, “appropriate since the vocation of the school is Forest School, and we do teach some aboriginal culture through this vocation.”
Rachel Everett-Fry, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Grenville Times