New cultural space for J.C. Hill Elementary students

OHSWEKEN — A new culture room has been created at J.C. Hill Elementary School in Ohsweken, where students can gather and share.

Principal Deneen Montour said the new space, which was formerly home to the Design & Technology classroom, was converted to be a more relaxed environment.

“In the culture room it is a very homey space. We’ve created a number of different spaces for students. We have couches and tables. A large conference table if we were going to bring students and parents together,” said Montour.

“Our language teachers will use the room to bring in knowledge keepers,” said Montour. “We’ve had a number of speakers that have taught about the culture and they have brought the students down into a more comfortable environment.”

Montour said a former student, Thomas Anderson, designed and created a mural depicting the Haudenosaunee Creation Story.

“It’s very well done. We also have cases on the wall with a number of different wampum belts. Those are used for teachings when traditional knowledge keepers come into the classroom.”

Another smaller room features a mural depicting Haudenosaunee families designed by four Grade 8 students; four students in grade 8 painted Haudenosaunee family and extended family on back wall.

Montour says the space will be open for community use as well.

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