A new program at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Elementary School is not only benefiting students' physical literacy skills, but also educating them on Indigenous culture.
Organized by Rising Stars, "Life Skills Through Indigenous Games" is an opportunity for students to connect with a crucial part of Canadian history through the form of play.
"We look at traditional games, why these games were played and how the skills developed can relate to youth today," said Rising Stars Program Coordinator Dee Channer.
One of the games involved piercing a stick through a ring that was attached by a piece of string.
Traditionally, this game was used to help with hand-eye coordination for the purpose of hunting or spearing a fish, but students could apply the skill towards specific sports they are interested in, like basketball.
In addition to testing out a number of Indigenous games, Channer also provided some historical context, relating to different nations within Canada.
Incorporating Indigenous teachings into curriculum began two years ago with Christian Service Animator Melissa Button as a way to bridge connections from Indigenous culture with Catholic faith, said Educational Assistant Marina Simpson.
"We’re all connected,” she said. “Activities like this helps us connect communities, students and cultures.”