Elder Roy Louis and his wife Judy pose for a photo before blessing the five Indigenous Activity Kits at the library on Oct. 30. (Photo by Leah Bousfield)

Elder Roy Louis and his wife Judy pose for a photo before blessing the five Indigenous Activity Kits at the library on Oct. 30. (Photo by Leah Bousfield)

Elder blesses new Indigenous Activity Kits at Rimbey Municipal Library

The Rimbey library has five new activity kits highlighting indigenous culture

An Elder from the Samson Cree Nation recently blesses the Rimbey Municipal Library’s latest project: Indigenous Activity Kits.

The five activity kits include an informational pamphlet, instructions and supplies for several activities and, of course, several books all about Indigenous culture.

Before becoming a regular part of the library’s programming, the five kits, three on Cree culture, and one each on Metis and Inuit culture, were blessed by an Elder.

Jean Keetch, Rimbey Municipal Library manager, said the blessing was an important part of the kits.

“Whenever you do something about or for Indigenous culture, it is important to have it blessed for by an Elder,” Keetch explained.

Elder Roy Louis of Samson Cree Nation and his wife gathered with a small group for a blessing ceremony at the library on Oct. 30.

Keetch called the blessing a powerful moment.

“It was a very emotional moment… A truly wonderful evening,” she said.

Keetch added she was very proud of Triana Hohn for creating the kits and of the board for backing the project.

The kits were created through consultation from Courtney Skjonsberg (Ponoka Elementary School First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Lead Teacher), Shelagh Hagemann (Wolf Creek Public Schools First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Student Success Coordinator), and Josephine Small (Wolf Creek Public Schools First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Learning Support Coach).

“This was a project hat was very near and dear to my heart. Racism exists in our country and it exists in our community, and at the core of racism is fear. The best way to break down a lot of fears is through education.”

The goal of the kits is to help children and their families gain an appreciation for the diversity of cultures within the province and community.

Many library users have expressed their interest and enthusiasm for the new activity kits. Now that they have been blessed they can be booked out of the library.

Keetch says she plans to continue providing events and activities to honour the indigenous culture through the library in the future.

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