Indigenous students aim to learn through archery program at southern Alberta school

The Turner Valley Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills has partnered with a school in Eden Valley to teach students the art of archery.

Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills partnered with Chief Jacob Bearspaw School to host after-school program

Jodie Sieben, who is a certified archery instructor, teaches the sport at the Chief Jacob Bearspaw School's after-school program. (Livia Manywounds/CBC)

A new program at Chief Jacob Bearspaw School in southern Alberta is aiming to be a bullseye for students wanting to learn a unique skill.

The Turner Valley Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills has partnered with the school in Eden Valley, about 115 kilometres southwest of Calgary, to teach students the art of archery.

Jodie Sieben, director of operations for the Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills, says along with learning about the sport, students are also learning about themselves.

"Archery is an etiquette sport," she said. "So it helps kids with confidence, self-esteem and also helps them with hunting."

Tran Rollinmud says, "I'm happy," when asked how he feels about the archery program in Eden Valley. (Livia Manywounds/CBC)

The after-school program aims to get students interested in competing in the future.

"The more you practise the better you'll get," said Sieben.

"So there is a sense of ownership of being an archer, if you don't practise you don't get better."

The program runs in schools across Canada and the United States.

Archery is nothing new to Grade 11 student Tran Rollinmud, who won a gold medal in a competition back in 2011 while attending Camp Gladstone.

The after-school archery program is in its first week and organizers hope students will take an interest. (Livia Manywounds/CBC)

"So for me to learn archery, I can pass it on to the other youth in the community of Eden Valley," said Rollinmud.

The program runs every Monday until the end of the school year.

And organizers hope to keep the program running throughout the summer with help from the community.

About the Author

Livia Manywounds is a reporter with the CBC in Calgary, a rodeo competitor and a proud member of the Tsuut’ina First Nation.