Celebrating Black History Month

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School District 8

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Throughout the District this month, Kootenay Lake SD8 students and staff will be honouring and celebrating black history through a variety of events, presentations and activities.

Black History Month is an occasion for African Canadians to commemorate the many achievements and contributions of African Canadians who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation it is today.

A unique activity book, Big Dreamers, created by Canadian authors Akilah Newton and Tami Gabay has been distributed to all the Kootenay Lake District elementary schools. Big Dreamers is a historical activity book designed for youth that provides a historical timeline, examines Black History in each province and territory and highlights the achievements of African Canadians whose stories are often left untold.

Black History Month is a time to learn more about these Canadian stories and the many other important contributions of African Canadians to the settlement, growth and development of Canada and about the diversity of Black communities across the country and their importance to the history of this nation.

The District is also hosting Overture with the Arts (OWTA) organization and their tour of B.R.A.W.L. (Black Revolutionary Activists Women Leaders) February 26 – 28 at participating schools. OWTA is a nonprofit organization, based in Montreal, that offers education in music, dance, drama and vocal training. Using their trademark edutainment style that combines education, Slam Poetry, Hip Hop, live theatre, stand up comedy and audience participation/interaction, the B.R.A.W.L tour will give students a vital introduction to outstanding black women throughout history, shining a light on their amazing accomplishments.

The Black History Month conversation too often focuses solely on some of the towering figures of the civil rights movement in the United States of America. Therefore, it is of vital importance to OWTA that students celebrate the sacrifices our own countrymen have made throughout history. While some American women will be mentioned, the emphasis will be primarily on African Canadians. For more information go to www.owta.org/brawl/

Contact the school directly for more information on community participation in the tour. Participating schools include:

February 26: 9 am – Mt. Sentinel, Slocan and 1:15 pm – Brent Kennedy, Slocan.

February 27: 9 am – LV Rogers, Nelson and 1 pm – Redfish, Nelson.

February 28: 9 am – JV Humphries, Kaslo and 1:15 pm - Salmo Secondary.

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