In a ceremony held in front of the Barriere Secondary on Apr. 7, education coordinator Alison Green accepted a ceremonial twin drum on behalf of the Simpcw community to recognize the connection between the two communities.  Pictured with the cereminial twin drums are (l-r): Barriere Secondary former Aboriginal education worker Don Bowser, education worker and now 'Keeper Of The Drum' Alison Green, Simpcw First Nation Chief Shelly Loring, BSS students Ava Jules, Cassidy Calahasen, Corban Williams, and BSS principal Angela Stott. (Barriere Secondary photo)

Celebrating differences on Day of Sucwentwecw

Barriere Secondary gifts twin drum to the Simpcw Community

In recognition of School District 73’s Day of Sucwentwecw, Barriere Secondary students and drum group members, Ava Jules and Cassidy Calahasen, were honoured to be able to gift one of a pair of twin drums crafted by the school to the Simpcw Community on behalf of the Barriere Secondary Community.

“The Day of Sucwentwecw brings us together by having us celebrate our differences in culture,” wrote student Bond Brown in reflecting on the purpose of the day, which is held annually on Apr. 7. “Cultures have their own perspective on the world, and we can be aware of them to broaden our own perspective of the Earth.”

Brown also echoed the sentiments of Chief Shelly Loring’s message, of bringing community together, not only for one day but every day. And also those of vice-principal Mark McVittie, who spoke of the Day of Sucwentwecw as being a day of friendship and belonging.

Artwork decorating the twin drums is of special significance to both the Barriere Secondary community and the Simpcw community, as it is a hand painting of a logo created to honour the connection between these communities.

This initiative was spearheaded at the time by then Aboriginal Education Worker Don Bowser, with staff and students collaborating over many years to design a logo and create the twin drums.

The logo was designed by former student Tanner Loewen, and then was painted onto each of the twin drums by Barriere Secondary art teachers.

In a ceremony held in front of the school on Wednesday, Apr. 7, education coordinator Alison Green accepted the drum on behalf of the Simpcw community. She is now the keeper of the gifted drum, and will be sharing the story of its creation and its value.

The annual Day of Sucwentwecw is a Kamloops-Thompson school district-wide event that recognizes and celebrates the Secwepemc People (Secwepemcul’ecw) and other Aboriginal people residing within the Secwepemc Territory.

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