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January 2023 School and Community News - ABMHS in Eskasoni

January 31, 2023

When you entered the high school on the afternoon of  Friday, January 20, there was anticipation in the air. A lot of planning had taken place. We waited for students to arrive. As they started rolling in, hot chocolate was being made upstairs in the learning center with Jill and Judy on the job. Then I went down the hall to check other classrooms and in 202 students were enjoying a game of chess and checkers. I waved to Laura telling her I could hear someone call my name as some students tried to coax me to a game of chess. Downstairs in room 101, there were plenty of students eager to learn from Rita and Tina on how to make medicine pouches. Next door in Khea’s room students watched a movie from Netflix called, "Fall." In room 103, we enjoyed the company of our elder Ernest Johnson. He invited us to try some stoqn tea as he explained the science behind it. I took some pictures of the branches he had as I learned about this Tea. I left the room with other students entering to hear our kisiku speak. I moved on across the foyer to 105 and the class room was full of students. They were well invested in making rattles with Lauren and guest speaker Mariah Doucette MacNeil,  who was using hide, sinu and sticks. In room 106 Miney mastered a class full of eager learners looking on to make wooden flowers of their own.  Across the hall was Bonnie and Mag making sandwiches with students for the wake in our community. Zigzagging classrooms to 107 I found Madeline (Sugar) Poulette, Lexi Paul and Carol Ann with students that were invested in a game of waltes. Just outside of that class room, in room 302, students were participating in making beaver and muskrat hide with Dallas and Frank. Everyone dressed in gloves and aprons for the job. Heading upstairs from the gym side students circled to enjoy the musical talents of each one there. The jam session was a great success as we listened to the Wendigos strum guitars, beat the drums and just jam out with Darren. Down the corner from music is the gym, which was full of students playing some laser tag, dodgeball in the dark for the first hour, and then soccer basketball for the next hour. Circling back upstairs from the main floor I was  pleased to find more students in room 207 playing video games in Bryan’s company. Heading back to room 205 the hot chocolate was almost gone and students were coming in after learning about its delicious chocolate flavour excited about their afternoon. Telling us about the flowers they made, the games they played and the tea from Ernest. This was truly a great way to end our semester with staff and students. Days like these are the ones that capture memories, not by cell phones or cameras, but through the hearts and minds of our students. These are the moments that will be treasured, capturing their high school days, and to be able to offer such experiences, is what community building is all about.