Cree festival celebrates heritage

Youngsters at St. Francis School celebrate Cree language and culture.

Parents beam with pride during St. Frances Cree Festival

Youngsters from a growing Cree program at St. Frances School in Saskatoon participated in a festival Tuesday to an approving audience of parents and other family members.

The event, on the front lawn of the school, featured singing performances in Cree.

In seven years, the program has grown from a single kindergarten class to nearly 250 students from kindergarten to Grade 6.

Parents, like Helena Colenare are thrilled with the results. Colenare says her daughter, Leah, has blossomed with the program.

"She's grown," Colenare told CBC News. "This morning ... her and her brother were having a Cree conversation and I thought she'd never be able to do that. So I'm really proud."

Learning Cree is also helping youngsters connect with older generations.

Leah Sylvestre has been studying Cree for four years.

 "Well I do love doing Cree because my Grandma and Grandpa, they do Cree," Sylvestre said.

The program continues to grow with school board officials noting enrolment increased by 65 students this year.



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