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Indigenous inspired playground a London first

The Thames Valley District School Board says the Indigenous inspired playground is the first of its kind in its fleet of schools and aims to make students feel more welcome.

Educators say the aim is make Indigenous culture part of the fabric of school life

The Thames Valley District School Board has built its first-ever Indigenous-inspired playground at C.C. Carrothers Public School in London. One in four students there self-identify as Indigenous and educators hope the new playground will not only teach students about aboriginal culture, but incorporate it into the very fabric of school life. 1:24

Educators say a new playground at London's C.C. Carrothers Public School to be unveiled this morning is the first of its kind in the Thames Valley District School Board.

Each piece of the Indigenous inspired playground is symbolic of Indigenous culture and is aimed at making students who self-identify as Indigenous feel more welcome in the school community. 

"Welcoming families into our building, all families into our building, it's got to be at the core of what we do," Beth Zimmerman, the principal of C.C. Carrothers Public School told CBC News Thursday. 

Deona Doxtator and Isaac Antone are among the one out of four students at C.C. Carrothers Public School who self-identify as Indigenous. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

The school in London's Commissioners Road and Pond Mills Road area, is one of the most diverse in the city and includes students from 27 different cultures, where one in four students at C.C. Carrothers self-identifies as Indigenous.

Zimmerman said it's important to recognize the contribution of Indigenous people to Canada's social fabric. 

C.C. Carrothers principal Beth Zimmerman says building the Indigenous-inspired playground is essential to making First Nations students feel welcome by making their culture a part of the fabric of school life. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

"First Nations and Indigenous peoples, they are the beginning of who we are and for us to know them and understand what they bring to the table and value what they bring to the table, I think is really important for our students to know."

"Makes me feel respected and welcomed as an Indigenous person," said Deona Doxtator, a self-identified indigenous student at the school.

About the Author

Colin Butler

Video Journalist

Colin Butler is a veteran CBC reporter who's worked in Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton and London, Ont. Email: colin.butler@cbc.ca