Bear Blast

For the Week of Oct 3, 2022

Working together; succeeding together.

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As treaty people, we acknowledge the privilege and honor of sharing Treaty 6 territory with the traditional inhabitants; the Cree, Dene, Nakota, Sauteaux, Ojibway, and Metis Nation, Eastern Region II. We are thankful that we can use this land and all that it offers for our sustenance and the sustenance of our families.

We acknowledge the harm of colonialism and the residential school system and commit to working together toward reconciliation and forging a better path forward.

Looking Through Anothers' Eyes...Not As Different As One Might Think

On September 30th, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, all NESD teachers and upper admin traveled to a variety of First Nations communities. The goal was to get to know our First Nations partners on a more personal level, by going into their community and seeing things, perhaps for some, from a different perspective. The staff of PPCS, along with teachers from Hudson Bay, Bjorkdale and Tisdale traveled to Kinistin FIrst Nation.

I have traveled by Kinistin on a few occasions on the way to summer camp or hockey games but had never until last Friday ventured into the community. When we arrived, the students were just arriving (and later we learned to get on a bus to travel somewhere for the day, so we could have the run of the building). Upon arrival, we were met with the smell of breakfast and smiles and laughter as staff and students prepared for the day ahead. There was the usual hustle and bustle of a school day.

We began our day with greetings from the principal, Mr. Smokeday, who challenged us to examine our own thinking on both personal and educational levels about how we could take what we would learn and experience back into our homes and our classrooms. That was followed by a talk by Ms. Betty Nippi-Albright , MLA for Saskatoon Center and member of the Kinistin First Nation. Ms. Nippi-Albright challenged everyone in the room to take reconciliation beyond platitudes and tokens. She pushed us to think beyond September 30 and to find real, hands-on ways to make reconciliation real in our homes, communities, and schools. She shared personal examples and examples of friends and families that highlighted that, although we have made progress in terms of reconciliation, we still have a lot of work to do. Important and essential work for our children, grandchildren, and beyond. Although Ms. Nippi-Albright challenged us and our perceptions, there was a sense of optimism in her talk, a sense that the work that needs to be done, can be done if we are truly committed to authentic and real reconciliation.

After an amazing BBQ lunch, put on by Beeland Co-op, we were given the privilege of spending time with the Elders from the Kinistin community. These were Cookums and Mushums, in both the literal and community sense. They shared their stories, their knowledge, their wisdom, and their sense of humor with us. They shared openly, without judgment or expectation, in a way that was touching and humbling. We learned about the history of the Saulteuax people, the challenges faced with the arrival of the settlers and how they met those challenges with determination. There was an explanation and grieving of the loss due to colonialism and the residential school system, but there was also talk of new found hope and progress toward healing and restoring what they referred to as "the lost generation." We met a teacher, who is a member of the lost generation, but who is learning her language and her culture and more importantly passing that on to youth in the community.

We met a teacher that was not born in Kinistin, her mother was a member of the Kinistin FIrst Nation and her Dad was a Metis man. She shared how she did not grow up in her culture, but that, as an adult, she was welcomed back with open and loving arms into the Kinistin community. This was evident in her interactions with the elders present in her session.

Throughout the day we learned a great deal about medicines, language, traditional foods and practices. I think, most importantly, we learned about the people of Kinistin First Nation. What we learned was that we are all the same. The people of Kinistin, like all First Nations communities, have faced the horrors of attempted genocide and all of the policies and protocols that flowed from that, but in spite of that, they are a thriving community. They are a community that wants what we want, a better future for our kids. Like everyone, they are a community steeped in traditions. I have often believed that most communities are similar, having the same characters and personalities, albeit with local tweaks and twists. Kinistin would be no different. We met a Kookum, who like so many Grammas or Babas, lacked a filter and said whatever came to mind. We met a Mushum, who like so many Grandpas and Gidos had seen his fair share of negativity and tried to find the positive in the world, it was also evident that like our Grandpas and Gidos he would have been more comfortable working or fishing than sitting in a room full of teachers. We met an elder who loved to hunt and shared that passion with students, like all good hunters he had many stories and was more than willing to share the spoils of his labors. Kinistin is a community, that like all First Nations communities has been hurt by the impacts of colonialism and the residential school system. Their wounds run deep and as the members of the community and the Elders shared their stories, both the subtle and not-so-subtle impacts of those wounds became evident. A Kookum shared that she has had to raise her grandchildren, 5 of them. She shared the challenges of being in her 70s and trying to raise teenagers today. Like all Grammas, she shared a sense of being out of her element in the modern world, but also shared how she is using what she knows, traditional medicines, to help.

By the end of the day, we all left with a great sense of humility. Despite all that the Kinistin people have faced and continue to face, there was a great sense of hope. Hope that things could be better, that things will be better. Ms. Nippi-Albright challenged us to look beyond platitudes and tokenism. She challenged us to get to know our First Nations neighbors, not to fear them or the differences we think exist. Several times in her talk, she asked us to educate ourselves and to work not from a place of ignorance but from enlightenment. That is a tall order, to say the least, or is it? After spending just a few hours with the people of Kinistin, I too believe that we have much work to do, but also that together we can do the work that needs to be done. It will not be easy or comfortable work all the time, but it need not be onerous or depressing work either. There is a need to remember, to hear the truth, and to acknowledge the darkest chapter of our history (and our present), but there is also a need for celebration and hope. We are far more similar than we think and it is in that similarity that we can find the strength to face the past and find ways to share, embrace and celebrate our differences.

I want to express my gratitude to the NESD for organizing the day, but far more importantly, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the people of Kinistin, who invited us into their lives and shared their community with us.

Grades 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 Phys Ed Hiking

PAA 10 Harvests at the Community Garden

Our Day

8:50 - warning bell rings - students line up and come inside.

8:55 - class bell rings.

9:00 - Oh Canada and morning announcements.

12:10 - lunch bell rings - grades K-3 eat and go outside at 12:30, grades 4-6 go outside and eat at 12:30

12:50 - lunch warning bell rings - students come inside

12:55 - class bell rings

3:05 - high school dismissal bell rings

3:25 - elementary dismissal bell rings

Terry Fox - Huge Success!!

Our goal was to raise $500, approximately $2 per student. We met and far exceeded this goal. With student, community, and Mr. Bloski's donation, we raised just over $1000 for the Terry Fix Foundation. Thank you for all your support.

We had a beautiful day for a walk and had a great time pieing some good sports on Thursday. Huge shout out to JT, JD, and AM for being good sports and taking a pie for a good cause.

Bears Banners

Shout out to Miss Hoffus and her art class for making amazing banners for our hallways and foyer. They look amazing and show off our school spirit.

Applied Engineering Team Receives a $1000 Donation

Our applied engineering team received a $1000 donation from Bourgeault Industries. This will be used to purchase parts and supplies.

I apologize, somehow TH got cut out of te picture.

Extra Curricular Fees

In an earlier newsletter, we laid out our plan for an extracurricular fee this year. Shortly after, we were contacted by a donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, and who has agreed to donate $4500 per year for the next three years to cover this fee. We are incredibly grateful for this generosity and will be canceling the fee. The donor has asked that our students contribute at least 1 hour of their time volunteering in the community. We will work with our coaches and teachers to coordinate this. Thank you to our donor for supporting extracurricular programming at PPCS. We do ask that families continue to support our fundraising as more funds can now be channeled to field trips and elementary activities.
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Staff vs. Student - Sept 28

On Wednesday, September 28, 2022 the staff challenged the grade 1 students to a game of Popcorn and the grade 8 students to a game of Q-tip baseball. The grade 1s bested us, but we were able to pull off a win against the grade 8s. However, it was grade 8 vaccination day, so we may have had an unfair advantage. Everyone had a good time and we all got a little bit of exercise.

Our next staff vs. students game is on October 25.

Music Lessons in Porcupine Plain

Parents have inquired every year for many years about the possibility of music instruction at PPCS. Our challenge was finding a teacher. As luck would have it, Mrs. Victoria Riley reached out to me late this summer about offering private lessons at the school. We have agreed to provide Mrs. Riley with a space to teach the lessons at PPCS in exchange for some classroom time for our art classes. To inquire about lessons, please see the contact information below.
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Upcoming Events

Oct 5 and 6 - Parent Convention

- check out Edsby for more information and to sign up for 1 to 1 sessions.

Oct 7 - Thanksgiving Soup - PAA 10 will make soup for the entire school, free of charge.

Sept 30 - School Improvement Planning (NO SCHOOL)

Oct 12 - Retakes and Grad Photos ** Note this was changed from Oct 13 to align with kindergarten days.

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Volunteer and Athletes of the Month

At the end of each month the Athletic Director, coaches, and our athletic reps. will put their heads together and choose 2 athletes and sports volunteers who they feel should be recognized for their work the previous month. Sept looks like this.

Ms. Wallen

Ms. Wallen provides the bulk of our volleyball programming by coaching both the Sr. and Jr. A Girls teams. Just about every evening or morning of the week she is at a practice, game, or headed to a weekend tournament. She has a positive relationship with the athletes she works with as well as the students in her classroom. Her volunteerism in various activities is appreciated by the whole school. Thank you, Ms.Wallen.

Kamryn Stegemann

Kamryn is in her final year of high school sports but she has always been a proven asset on any team or activity she is part of. She has a great work ethic in practice and displays leadership on the teams she is involved with. She is a versatile athlete that is willing to try just about any sport in the book. She holds a competitive, business-like attitude through competition but is sure to crack a smile and have some fun. Congrats Kamryn.

Amanda Mielke

Amanda is a newcomer to high school sports but is certainly starting off on the right foot. Only one month in and she is already involved in cross country and volleyball. She has already gained the attention of the coaches through her willingness to try, improve, and grow in the sport. She is a young athlete that we are excited to watch only get better and better over the next few years. Well done Amanda.

Shout Out to Autum and JB

Bears Athletics would like to thank our Athletic reps JB and Autum for the great work on our team roster and picture board. They volunteer after school and noons to get it done and it looks awesome.

Team Schedules

Jr. Girls Vball

Practice Monday & Thursday 3:30-5:30

Sr. Girls Vball

Practice Monday 3:30-5:30, Thursday 7-8:30am

Home game on Tuesday

Flag Football

Tues and Wed practice 3:30-5:00

Cross Country

Practice Monday 3:30-4:30

Tues NESSAC meet at Wapiti.

Jr. and Sr. Golf

Tues practice 3:30-6:30 @ Greenhills

Home Games

October 4

Senior Girls Vball

October 12

Junior Girls (A) Vball

October 18

Senior Girls Vball

October 19

Junior Girls (B) Vball

Hot Lunches

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PreOrder Burgers

PPCS fully supports the work of the Hope Fund as we often have families who would benefit from such a fund. In support, we will be collecting preorders from students who wish to order burgers. We will take the money to the fundraiser and bring the burgers back for the students.

Preorder forms will come home Monday. All orders will have to be submitted Wednesday shortly after 9:00am.

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What is the Porcupine Hope Fund?
The Porcupine Hope Fund is a newly established charitable fund within the Porcupine Plain Healthcare Auxiliary. The Porcupine Hope Fund will provide financial support for local individuals that are receiving ongoing treatment for a critical illness. This Fund was created to confidentially help those that must spend repeatedly on travel and accommodations in order to treat a critical illness. When someone in our community is sick, we often ask how we can help; this fund will act as a way to alleviate just a small part of their burden.
*Committee Members: Tracy Slobodian, Duane Thorpe, Janice Messner, Sheena Thorpe & Amber Hoffus*
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It's going to be a #wonderFULLyear