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SHHS hosts cultural mosaic

Event highlighted five different cultures

YORKTON—Sacred Heart High School's Cultural Club hosted a cultural mosaic on the afternoon of Oct. 14.

"We have a cultural club that we started before COVID happened, and then COVID kind of shut us down for a couple years, and then we resurrected it last year," said Kerrie Shearer, Career Counsellor with Sacred Heart High School.

"Throughout the cultural club there was some discussion about celebrating our cultures and looking at how we could do that and we ended up having an opportunity to apply for a grant from Culture Days—the Saskatchewan Culture Days with the Drama Association of Saskatchewan," said Shearer, adding, "that was the beginning of us creating this day."

Shearer said the mosaic highlighted five different cultures in the school.

"We picked Indigenous, Metis, Ukrainian, Philipino and African," said Shearer, adding, "we had five booths set up, so five different staff took on each of those booths and created plans with the kids and that's how we created the day."

"Part of what was expected was to have a food item at your booth that would highlight the traditional foods of the cultre you're representing and then after that the kids just kind of picked what they wanted for activities," said Shearer, adding, "some of the kids were dressed up in their regalia, other kids had activities that they were doing."

"The Philipino crew had a game they were playing, we had three Indigenous dancers—that were our students as well—that danced in the gym, the metis club had a dot art project," said Shearer.

"We did this over a lunch hour," said Shearer, noting the booths stocked samples of each cultures respective foods.

"Kids just came from booth to booth like you would at any mosaic and asked questions, looked at the things on the tables, tried some food and then did the two activities that were in the gym or tried some of the art projects that we had going on," said Shearer, adding, "it was wide open to our entire student body—we even invited all of our elementary schools to bring their own kids so that they could experience what we were doing and potentially take it back to their own schools and try it there—we wanted them to see what was happening."

"Our cultural club—up until this point—had just been for the kids that joined the club and so we had never opened ourselves up to doing something for our whole student bodies," said Shearer, noting the success of the first school-wide event.

"This was a brand new undertaking that went phenomenally," said Shearer.

Shearer said the event got many of the students partaking in it talking about their own cultures and said that future events might see an expansion.

"I think it's going to grow in the way we do it from here," said Shearer, adding, "this was supposed to be 'keep it simple and try to be successful with it being simple', but when we had five groups run by five different groups of adults and most booths had two adults per booth, it got big pretty quickly, and everybody was really passionate about their own booth."

"Our cultural group in general, we are looking at the projects that we're going to work on moving forward now, and we were looking at doing a survey to see—now that our whole student body knows what's going on with us—to see what the suggestions the student body might have moving forward," said Shearer.  

"Now that we've started this, when we meet on Fridays there will be more brainstorming in relation to how we can continue the practice of including more people in our building to grow on it and have people feel more prideful in their own cultures," said Shearer.

Shearer said that different organization within the community pitched in to help out.

"We had some really great collaborations with community members like Yorkton Tribal Council and Metis Nation," said Shearer, adding, "they're so helpful to bring things in for us and offer guidance when the kids had questions."

"It was so uplifting to see the kids be so excited to share their own stories and their own food that went with each of their booths that were there," said Shearer.

"It was a very exciting day."