ARCHIVED - Outma Sqilx'w Cultural School

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Outma Sqilx'w Cultural School, at the Penticton Indian Band, is architecturally stunning, with state-of-the-art technology, balancing the past with the present.  Outma Sqilx'w Cultural School will ensure a cultural legacy for the community's children for generations to come.

Transcript: Outma Sqilx'w Cultural School

Narrator voice-over:
High on a hill, overlooking Okanagan Lake in British Columbia is the brand new Outma Sqilx'w Cultural School, the pride and joy of the Penticton Indian Band.

The school is a long time dream-come-true….architecturally stunning; with state-of –the-art technology …balancing the past with the present ….it will ensure a cultural legacy for the community's children for generations to come.

Joseph Pierre – Councillor – Penticton Indian Band – Education, Technology and Culture Portfolios

It's been a goal for our community for almost 40 years and a real hard working goal for 20 years… …and we finally have our own school, a really nice school for our kids to learn in, so our community is overjoyed.

The ground breaking for the school was in September 2009, and construction started shortly after that … and the school was officially finished around April 2011, and students moved in shortly after that.

Henry Michel – Former Director of Education – Penticton Indian Band

This community recognizes the opportunity of its own schooling program that offers a quality education but also the potential to bring language and cultural fluency back to this community.

Arnold Baptiste- Language and Cultural Education Teacher

We have designed into our program as a cultural school those necessary components of being aware of themselves, the uniqueness of their history, …their history itself, their culture…customs...and language and part of their religion, songs and the list goes on….

Jonathan Kruger – Chief – Penticton Indian Band

It's so important to bring our culture back... …not only just language, protocols…cultural things, hunting, fishing, stories…and what to do and how to do it…how to collect medicines, you know, how to gather roots, berries, …there's a time and place for everything and our children are getting taught that from the teachers here today.

Joseph Pierre – Councillor – Penticton Indian Band – Education, Technology and Culture Portfolios

So students are learning provincial curriculum with a cultural twist to it, so they're learning Math and Language Arts and Socials in the language at times, and also in English as well…so the students will get a fully accredited education.

Henry Michel – Former Director of Education – Penticton Indian Band

In terms of design, in terms of location, in terms of the kind of technology and resources we've been able to put into this school it's a huge accomplishment.

Jonathan Kruger – Chief – Penticton Indian Band

We have geothermal, we have solar light tubing we have natural lighting…just an amazing gymnasium….it's big…it's university sized… the kids can go outside the classrooms…each one of them has a gardening spot and we have a fire pit so we can tell our stories …we have a cultural room…you know we thought of a lot of things …to make the best thing for our children.

Joseph Pierre – Councillor – Penticton Indian Band – Education, Technology and Culture Portfolios

The classrooms are equipped with Smart Boards in every single one of them as well as an auditory system so that every student can hear what the teacher is saying.

We also have a full industrial kitchen that provides a breakfast program and also a hot lunch program for our students and also it will provide a community kitchen for when we hold events here at the school.

Jonathan Kruger – Chief – Penticton Indian Band

I'm hoping that we can take giant steps towards reconciling residential schools, and I think it starts here…on something beautiful like this.

It builds a strong foundation for the future if our children …grow up in a stronger environment…they're going to grow up to be healthy…and they're going to make great decisions and they're going to do great things.

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