Colville Lake School had their first ever Remembrance Day assembly on Friday. Jenn headed this up and it was a glowing success. Each class was responsible for a different component of the program. Jenn invited police officers from Fort Good Hope to attend and we were fortunate that they were available to fly in.
The assembly started with an Elder, Laura, saying the Lords Prayer in North Slavey. The language is beautiful and it was an honour to hear her speak. Jenn then played the national anthem in North Slavey. The elementary class recited the poem, "In Flanders Fields," the middle school class talked about the significance and location of Flanders Fields, and the high school class talked about the story behind the poem.
Just before 11:11am Martin explained why we have a moment of silence on Remembrance Day and encouraged the children to to use this moment to think about all the men and woman who fought for our freedom.
I was so proud of all of our students. They were respectful and put a lot of work into their presentations.
The hockey rink has turned into a huge success. Martin has put a lot of man hours into maintaining it and bringing it up to perfect skating condition. One of the greatest challenges of isolation is keeping active and busy on evenings and weekends. The rink has full community buy in and is providing the kids with a healthy hobby. Martin bought a skate sharpener, water pump, and has hired a few of the boys to help with maintenance.
We were nervous about flooding the rink because we were not totally sure how far down we would have to drill to get to water. The worry was that the ice under the hockey rink was already frozen to the ground and that we would have run pipes way out into the middle of the lake. Thankfully that was not the case. The ice is about 10inches thick and there is still plenty of water to pump out from under the rink.
Martin has flooded the rink twice now and we are hoping to flood it again this afternoon. Each time it is flooded the ice flattens out that much more. A couple of my students have been working with Martin and are learning how to use the pump. I love seeing them work so hard.
We are hoping the next flooding will make a huge difference. Last time it was flooded the weight of the water was too much for the ice in some places, which resulted in some pretty large cracks. It has been VERY cold this week and the ice has gotten way thicker.
I am slowly improving at skating. Slow and steady wins the race here. Skating on a lake is more challenging than skating inside. I am being extra careful because of the lack of medical care that would be available if I fell or injured myself.
I look forward to seeing how the rink improves in the coming weeks. A few community members are going to bring down an old shed and some benches. We plan on hiring a few students to run a concession. They will sell hot chocolate and baked goods. We found an old log stove that will be used to heat the shed. Most of the children have received their skates and we are hoping to get more hockey sticks and another net in the near future.
Halloween in Colville Lake was unlike any Halloween I have experienced in my life. Much like all holidays here, Halloween is a community wide event. Children and adults both spend a lot of time thinking about and planning their costumes. Jenn and I put less thought into our costumes. Halloween kind of snuck up on us and by the time dressing up arrived we were both exhausted. A little eye liner and painted on kitty whiskers did the trick. Martin and Louie were more prepared and dressed as a demon and a pregnant lady.
On the saturday night before Halloween there was a party for the adults of community. I was asked to attend as a judge for the costume contest. The costumes were next level. Some genuinely scared me and others gave me a good laugh. Cash prizes were given to the top three contestants. The teacher in me LOVED the rubric that I was given to assess costumes on.
Halloween night was all about the children. Kids trick or treated from 5-6:30. Every child from the community came to my door. I loved seeing their costumes and excitement. After trick or treating we had a party in the gym for the kids. There were games, food, and a costume contest. Colville Lake is loyal to tradition. The events of Halloween have become tradition in the community. Everyone knows what to expect and where to be because this is how it has been done for years.
The highlight of my night was trying to figure out who were behind the masks. One of the categories the kids are judged on is how well they stay in character all night. They pride themselves on being unrecognizable to all those around them.