Valley students learn about First Nations petroglyphs

Valley students learn about First Nations petroglyphs

On Friday, Oct. 14, Clearwater Secondary School students along with the Grade 6s and 7s from Raft River Elementary participated in a field trip to near Little Fort to what is commonly known as “Indian Rock” to view pictographs of the Simpcw Nation.

Tina Donald plus Mike and Shelly Loring from Chu Chua accompanied them. The three sang and played ceremonial drums as healing, welcome and thanksgiving to the ancestors.

“These pictographs are a real treasure,” said Peter Persad, vice principal of Clearwater Secondary, who organized the field trip. “They are incontrovertible proof of the hundreds if not thousands of years of history of the Simpcw people on this territory. They are sacred and they are powerful. The exact location of the pictographs is kept secret in order to preserve their integrity, and we are grateful to the Simpcw Nation for sharing their wisdom with us and allowing us to view them.”

“The project was an extremely effective means of communicating to our Aboriginal youth the importance of their cultural roots and identity. It was neat because it was young men and women who put the pictographs there in the first place while on a vision quest.”

Persad noted that Deb Draney, district principal for Aboriginal education in School District 73 and Renee Spence, administrator of the First Nations education council for Kamloops Indian Band had provided funding.

“It had a real impact on our kids. There is a real special energy in a place like that and that was not lost on our youth,” he said.