High school students spoke at the Haisla Recreation Centre to show their support following an alleged mocking of a student by a teacher at Mount Elizabeth Middle Secondary School. (Photo Submitted/Cameron Orr)

High school students spoke at the Haisla Recreation Centre to show their support following an alleged mocking of a student by a teacher at Mount Elizabeth Middle Secondary School. (Photo Submitted/Cameron Orr)

Haisla gather in solidarity with student allegedly mocked by teacher

Community leaders hope event will lead to more open dialogue and understanding

An event held on Nov. 12 at the Haisla Recreation Centre saw members from the community gather to support the Haisla youth following an alleged incident at Mount Elizabeth Middle Secondary School.

Last week, a student alleged a teacher mocked him when he showed up for picture day in his Indigenous regalia.

The solidarity event took place at 4 p.m. giving time for the school buses to bring kids back to the community. People were invited to wear traditional regalia and bring their drums.

After opening with a prayer, the Haisla Nation Dancers had their chance to perform a few songs. There was also an opportunity for youth from the community to speak.

“I want the youth to know that we support them and we’re proud of them for standing up for one another,” said event organizer Trish Grant.

Grant emphasized that this event was for the youth of the community as they stood together during and following the incident. The event also featured an open mic section for those that wanted to come up and give their support or talk about the topic.

“The Haisla are a very proud nation and a very supportive nation of the Haisla along with the other communities around us,” Grant said.

Grant hopes that the school district along with the high school would participate in training with the Haisla Nation.

“The Haisla Nation Council has a language and culture department and they run a course that they do for all the joint ventures that have worked on LNG and the firefighters have recently taken it,” Grant said.

She hopes that cultural awareness can be more open in Kitimat as the city’s population is diverse.

Read More: Protest follows teacher allegedly mocking student for wearing Indigenous regalia on picture day