Scaling New Heights with the Buffalo Bay Academy

September 19, 2023

Kapawe’no First Nation – At Kapawe’no First Nation, we are delighted to introduce our newest addition to the First Nation Collegiate structure – Buffalo Bay Academy. Comprising four distinct academies – Arts, Music, Sports, and LAWF (Land, Air, Water, Fire), Buffalo Bay Academy embodies our vision of nurturing holistic education, allowing our students to thrive as Nêhiyawak individuals.

We envision Buffalo Bay Academy as a drive of holistic learning, where the boundless potential of each student is ignited through the blend of arts, music, sports, and LAWF interactions. Our goal is to provide a well-rounded education approach that transcends the conventional boundaries of academia, fostering balance in the lives of our students as they embrace their identity as Nêhiyawak people.
Buffalo Bay Academy’s mission is that we are committed to joint empowerment of our students for lifelong success by offering a comprehensive curriculum enriched with the wisdom of our Nêhiyawak way of life. Our dedicated teachers and instructors serve as mentors, guiding students on their journey towards advanced learning. We believe that the fusion of traditional values with modern knowledge equips our students with the tools they need to excel academically, culturally, and personally.

Through Buffalo Bay Academy, we aspire to cultivate well-rounded individuals who not only achieve academic excellence but also carry forward the rich cultural balance of the Nêhiyawak people. Our commitment to holistic education extends beyond the classroom, preparing our students for a fulfilling and balanced life enriched by arts, music, sports, and a deep connection to the land.

Arts Academy

At Kapawe’no Nêhiyawak School, our commitment to the Arts Academy is a testament to our dedication to cultural preservation and artistic innovation. Our comprehensive Nêhiyawak Arts Program transcends the boundaries of time and tradition, skillfully weaving the threads of ancestral indigenous artistic practices into the vibrant way of contemporary expression. This unique program serves as a bridge, connecting our students to their cultural roots while equipping them with the tools to navigate the ever-evolving world of art.

Our Arts Academy stands as a beacon of empowerment, nurturing the artistic spirit within each student. Through a curriculum rich in tradition, students explore the intricate beauty of beadwork, quillwork, and traditional painting techniques, forging a deep connection to their Nêhiyawak way of life. Simultaneously, we encourage them to spread their creative wings into the modern artistic landscape, embracing painting, sculpture, digital art, and more. In this environment of cultural immersion and artistic exploration, our students not only become skilled artists but also passionate advocates for the enduring legacy of First Nation arts.

Music Academy

The program at Kapawe’no Nêhiyawak School harmoniously blends traditional drumming and Nêhiyawak music traditions with contemporary wind, brass, and percussion instruments. This fusion creates a vibrant and culturally immersive musical journey, paying homage to our community’s heritage while embracing modern musical elements.
Our Music program is committed to providing students with diverse learning and performance prospects, including participation in sports games, festivals, and other events that spotlight their musical talents and foster teamwork skills.

The introduction of top-notch wind, brass, and percussion instruments marks an exhilarating milestone. Our vision to unite traditional drumming and Nêhiyawak music practices with modern instruments presents an exclusive opportunity for our students to explore their rich cultural heritage alongside contemporary musical expressions.

Sports Academy

It’s wonderful to hear about the diverse sports and activities offered at Kapawe’no Nêhiyawak School. Here’s a slightly revised version of your description:
Archery (Pimotatowin) – Archery is a fun, educational, and traditional activity for young people at Kapawe’no Nêhiyawak School. This all-inclusive sport enhances muscle endurance, flexibility, hand-eye coordination, and strength. Beyond physical skills, archery teaches discipline, respect, and self-control, qualities that carry over into students’ attitudes, work habits, and other school activities.
Boxing (Pakamatohkewin) – Our youth boxing program at Kapawe’no Nêhiyawak School provides a safe and enjoyable outlet for students to engage in physical activity. Boxing imparts essential lessons in dedication and discipline, helping students channel their energy productively while fostering focus, coordination, and respect.

Hockey (Miskwami Mitawiwin) – At Kapawe’no Nêhiyawak School, our students eagerly anticipate participating in the national sport of hockey. We host weekly on- and off-ice sessions, catering to both beginners and those advancing to minor hockey in the area. All our students receive a complete set of hockey equipment generously donated by Sports Central in Edmonton. Our experienced teacher-coaches guide their development. Hockey, as a team sport, not only encourages physical activity but also promotes health, confidence, and cooperation among players.
Lacrosse (Metawewin) – Kapawe’no Nêhiyawak School offers a Lacrosse Program that instills character both on and off the field. It empowers students to set personal goals and teaches both the traditional and modern versions of the game. The traditional form serves as a healing and spiritual experience, nurturing mental strength and challenging students to become better versions of themselves.

LAWF (Land, Air, Water, Fire)

Our “Learning through LAWF” program at Kapawe’no Nêhiyawak School offers a unique opportunity to connect with traditional Nêhiyawak skills in the environment itself. Students learn valuable hands on skills such as fire-building, shelter construction, ice-fishing, land navigation, archery, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, wilderness first-aid, team-building, firearm safety, and survival skills.
Students also have the privilege of learning from our local traditional knowledge keepers who guide their journey in connecting with the land. Exciting activities and field trips await, including our outdoors canoe/kayak and snowshoe clubs at the school! This exploring our land learning is vital for our Nêhiyawak youth to deepen their cultural connection. Mother Earth imparts lessons in balance and high-level education.

Last modified: October 2, 2023

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