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Louis Riel Gathering Day a hit for many students at KVR Middle School

Fourth Annual Louis Riel Gathering Day is a success

Staff and Grade 6 students at a middle school in Penticton celebrated the legacy of Louis Riel and Metis culture on Friday.

At KVR Middle School, members of the Metis community came to support the event by sharing knowledge of their traditional Metis heritage, including spoon playing, songs and dance.

“The culture itself is strong in B.C., and it’s only getting stronger,” said Metis elder Greg Sterling.

READ MORE: Mint’s new coin honours founder of Manitoba and Metis leader Louis Riel

Jigging, the traditional dance of the Metis, is a combination of dance from First Nations plus Scottish and French-Canadian step-dancing. The station was a highlight for many students and staff that participated.

Sterling said “to come here and give them a demonstration on how to play Metis spoons is something that they can play not just to our music, but to their own music. I’m trying to keep this alive and keep this going.”

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The Louis Riel statue
The Louis Riel statue

Staff at KVR Middle School host the event annually in order to educate students about Metis’ impact in Canada.

Staff hope to keep the legacy alive for generations to come and for students to be proud of who they are and where they come from.

Students were appreciative to be involved, with one saying she finds this day “very important, although a lot of people [who] go to this school might not be metis or aboriginal, but it still affects them and our lifestyle.”