As part of Chinook’s Edge commitment to Truth and Reconciliation, graduation ceremonies include an Indigenous culture celebration.  

Some students wear Métis sashes, while other students wear medicine pouches.  

The Métis sash is a symbol of accomplishment and achievement and is presented to Métis students with pride, and positive energy for their journey ahead.  

While the medicine pouch represents wisdom and a connection to the creator. It’s filled with a white stone to give students the feeling of connection and being grounded. It contains sweet grass, that represents kindness, strength, and resilience, and is given to students as a reminder to love themselves and others, move through life with kindness, and that they are strong and resilient.   

An Indigenous Elder smudges the sashes, the medicine pouches, and their contents prior to schools receiving them, with the intent of having students blessed with good thoughts, words, and wishes as they begin their journey into adulthood and the next stage of their life.  

Seleah Organ, an École Olds High School graduate received an eagle feather, presented by her mother, during her graduation ceremony.  

“I was honored to accept it. The symbol of the eagle feather reminds me of the responsibility I have to share my knowledge with my family and community,” said Organ.  

She appreciates that the school was open to provide her family with the opportunity to practice their traditions.  

Olds graduating student.Seleah Organ, an École Olds High School graduate received an eagle feather during her graduation ceremony.
Photo provided by Chinook's Edge School Division.

“I felt a sense of pride to have my mom do this in front of my school and local community. This opportunity to acknowledge Indigenous peoples inside our school by presenting traditional elements from our culture meant a great deal to me. This shows how we embrace everyone for who they are, and how each person is valued for their uniqueness,” Organ said.  

Meaghan Reist, Principal of École Olds High School said, “Every graduation brings a special memory for students, but ensuring our Indigenous students are recognized with sashes and medicine pouches not only positively impacts the student's graduation experience, it also models for all those in attendance what small steps in reconciliation look like, and what it means to celebrate all aspects of a student's educational experience.”  

 

 

**With information provided by Chinook's Edge School Division.