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Giving thanks to Treaty 7

Students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 are taking steps to correct wrongs for which they are not responsible. Longview School students got the ball rolling early in the school year when they helped create a land acknowledgment for Treaty 7.
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Students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 are taking steps to correct wrongs for which they are not responsible.

Longview School students got the ball rolling early in the school year when they helped create a land acknowledgment for Treaty 7.

It’s appropriate for Longview School to take the bull by the horns as it just 30 kilometres to the east from Eden Valley Reserve. As well nearly half of the school’s 61 students identify themselves as either Indigenous or Métis.

It’s not unusual for meetings or major events in the area to open with a land acknowledgment to First Nations, including at Foothills School Division public meeting.

Although respectable and well meaning, they often seem perfunctory, with no local context.

The Longview acknowledgment not only has context, capturing the beauty of the land they share with First Nations people, but more importantly it has heart and caring.

The acknowledgment was an opportunity for Longview School to demonstrate gratitude and reconciliation.

The students bear no responsibility for residential schools or the apartheid-like systems established years ago, but the acknowledgment is a statement saying future generations won’t forget and will strive for the future.

Last week, the Longview students passed that opportunity to their older counterparts at Foothill Composite High School.

High school student Dannica Ruff said she is honoured, as well as being nervous — it’s a responsibility she takes seriously.

She will have plenty of help.

The six Comp students will hear from their school community and do their homework to understand this area’s ties with Treaty 7. It’s a big and important job, but one that is overdue.

And it’s a start to reconciling past wrongdoings for which this young generation bears no responsibility.