Culture at NISS

September 23, 2018

Culture class has had a very exciting start to the school year. School District #85 was host to some very special educators from Australia. The reason for their visit was to explore education within our district. The culture class stepped up and organized a traditional welcome for the guests. Students led by Ida Miller and Moses Smith greeted the visitors on the front steps of the school. After a short welcome introduction by Principal Mr. Dixon and Ms. Johnson, cultural students escorted the visitors (including Superintendent Carol Robertson and Director of Instruction Christina MacDonald, and District Principal of First Nations Irene Isaac) with a welcome song to the drama room where they danced and sang the Kwakiutl professional ladies dance “Abaya”.

In addition to showcasing our students' talents at the school, the Culture class joined Sunset and Alert Bay Elementary in the Alert Bay Gukwdzi (Bighouse), where they shared more cultural knowledge with our guests.

The students can be proud of the effort they put forward on this day. They showcased for everyone both their individual talents and their unity and commitment to bringing forward the continuation of a strong cultural program at NISS.

September 10, 2018

NISS Culture Class


We wish you all had an uplifting and relaxing summer. We would like to take a moment to introduce to you this year’s team of cultural facilitators, Ida Miller and Nina Mitchell. We are very excited to have the opportunity to promote culture at the school. We were very excited to see the smiling faces of all the students continued commitment and support to strengthen culture at NISS. We are so proud of their efforts last year and even more excited for the future of culture at NISS.

Our first full day in Culture class gave us deeper insight as to what “culture” means to our students. We all sat around our drum log and each gave a word or so to describe “culture.”

What culture means to us:

Language, following the guidance of elders, the big house, regalia, art songs dancing T’lina, Salmon, carving, stories, family, potlatches, traditional medicine, jewelry, harmony, and identity.

From these descriptions we can focus in on each of these and explore what it looks like to be indigenous in the 21st Century

At present, we are proud of our students shared knowledge within the class. It shows their commitment in bringing all aspects of culture to our district and community. However, as a group we also recognize our need for help from local elders and experts to come and share their knowledge with us. Please contact Ida Miller or Nina Mitchell for further details on how you can help make a big difference the success of culture at NISS.


Ida Miller and Nina Mitchell