Métis elder and spoon expert Greg Stirling introduces KVR Middle School students to the different types of musical spoons at their third annual Louis Riel Day gathering on Feb. 8. Karissa Gill/Western News

Video: KVR students celebrate Métis culture with musical spoons

Middle school students decorated spoons with Métis elders ahead of Louis Riel Day

KVR Middle School held its third annual Louis Riel Day gathering on Feb. 8.

The day was spent highlighting Métis culture through interactive workshops, including historical trivia, dancing and a workshop where students decorated their own musical spoons.

Dignitaries who attended the opening assembly included representatives of R3 Thompson and Okanagan as well as Métis elders and spoon experts.

Related: South Okanagan Métis step up involvement with school district

At the assembly, Greg Stirling, a Métis spoon expert from Quesnel, said the musical instruments date back to prehistoric times and “are played all around the world.”

“They’re not just played here in Canada,” Stirling said while introducing the students to different spoons. “There are different spoons and different sounds.”

Following the assembly, Stirling led spoon workshops where students decorated their own instruments. Then at the end of the gathering, students joined Stirling in playing the spoons.

“It’s nice to know more about my culture,” said Métis student Cali Janzen, adding that decorating the spoons was her favourite activity. “It makes me happy because more people will know about it.”

This year, Louis Riel Day is Feb. 19. The school celebrated early to accommodate the schedules of the dignitaries who attended and because the actual day coincides with Family Day.

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