Students at North Queens Community School (NQCS) were able to learn about medicine pouches as part of National Indigenous History Month.
Somer Bergman, the Social Studies teacher for Grades 4 to 5, said Indigenous staff members Lori Davis and Penny Brown have been in the class several times throughout the year teaching the students various aspects of First Nations culture.
Brown is a Child and Youth Care Practitioner at the school and Davis is a Student Support Worker for several schools within the South Shore Regional Centre for Education.
They were on hand to help the students, 17 in all, learn about the significance of the pouches.
A medicine pouch is similar to a necklace. Inside the pouch, a First Nations person might carry various items, such as sacred herbs, special gifts or stones, and things that would have special meaning to them and bring good energy.
“Penny explained that sometimes she wears her medicine pouch when she is going into a meeting, or if she feels anxious or stressed about something,” explained Bergman.
In learning about the importance of the pouches, the students were also able to make their own – sewing them with pre-cut leather and decorating them with beads to individualize them.
Bergman said she encouraged the students to place items in their pouch “that might make them feel happy or that was special to them.”
Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin