New cultural lodge at Ottawa school helps settle Indigenous students into new year – APTN

by pmnationtalk on September 7, 2017674 Views

September 06, 2017

Annette Francis
APTN National News

In a cultural lodge lined with cedar panels, Lorraine Lute bends over slightly, cups her hands and pulls smoke over her head and down her shoulders.

The retired teacher, along with a number of students, is smudging in a new cultural lodge designed for First Nation, Métis and Inuit students at Gloucester High School in Ottawa.

“Isn’t it grounding when you come in here, this is why we have our smudge bowl,” she said with a smile.

Lute is a retired First Nations teacher’s assistant.

She spent 15 years down the road at Rideau High School.

It was the first high school in Ottawa to offer First Nation, Métis and Inuit students a cultural lodge.

But because of declining enrollment, the public school board in Ottawa closed it in June.

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