Special to the Tribune/Advisor
Thursday, May 29 saw School District 27’s new First Nations Role Models crowned in a ceremony held at Lake City Secondary School (Williams Lake Campus). New Role Models are Grade 12 student Norma Handsor and Grade 11 student Mountain Lake Alphonse.
Norma Handsor is a proud member of the Alexis Creek Indian Band (Tsi Del Del). She attends school at Lake City secondary’s Williams Lake Campus and is an Honour Roll student. Teachers shared that Norma models dedication to high standards and demonstrates a respect for others. Norma proudly embraces her Chilcotin culture and gives thanks to her family for teaching her the traditions. Her First Nations culture teaches her to be the best that she can be and to contribute to her nation in the best way possible.
Mountain Lake Alphonse is a proud member of Anaham Band (Tl’etinqox-T’in Govt. Office). He also attends the Williams Lake Campus of Lake City Secondary School. School staff shared that he stands out amongst his fellow students and always wears a smile. He is very proud of both his school and his First Nations culture. Mountain Lake gives thanks to his family for teaching and sharing the culture and traditions with him.
Other candidates who were also acknowledged as Role Models and received jackets for participating are: Kaylee Billyboy, Daylynn Boyd, Daisha Leon, Christina Sam, Loretta Jeff-Combs, Jaclyn Sargent and Brandon Stump.
Following an official welcome and prayers in First Nations languages as well as French and English the candidates were escorted into the gym by a friend or family member.
As they walked the circle, there was a profile read on each of them by the 2013 Role Models Jeremy Smith and Heather WolfEar. Special First Nations drumming songs were performed by several First Nations Chiefs.
Although only one boy and one girl would be crowned as the new role model for the upcoming school year, emcee David DeRose, District Principal of First Nations Education for SD27 stressed that all the candidates are Role Models.
Norma and Mountain Lake, as well as the other role model candidates demonstrate commitment to their school and community, leadership qualities, a healthy lifestyle and support for their First Nations culture.
During the crowing ceremony Norma and Mountain Lake were guided through the cleansing (by Gary Stieman) and introduction ceremonies by the outgoing role models who crowned their successors. They were each presented with $500 bursaries and a blanket as well as the traditional role model jacket and a Role Model Sash. Greetings were bestowed to the role models and fellow candidates from Mark Thiessen, Superintended for SD27 and Mayor, Kerry Cook, Trustees Joyce Cooper and Tanya Guenther.
Following the crowning, there was a feast followed by the cutting of their cake.
The First Nations Role Models will attend various school and community events representing School District 27.
On behalf of School District 27, First Nations Education Department and First Nations Education Committee we wish to thank everyone who contributed to making this a very special evening for our students. We are very proud of these two fine ambassadors.