Megan Pfefferle Striding Forward with the Sunrise Song at Kapawe’no Nêhiyawak School

October 25, 2023

Kapawe’no First Nation – With the early morning Nêhiyawêwin session virtually conducted in the studio at Kapawe’no Nêhiyawak School, a cherished melody gracefully unfolds through the hallways. Following the performance by the Muskwak Juniors under the guidance of Mr. Cory Cardinal Jr, the ‘Waniska’ (Sunrise Song) led by Megan Pfefferle, accompanied by the rhythmic beats from Ms. Sam Tomkins’ Grade 5/6 class, invites a serene ambiance that blends seamlessly with the morning’s session.

The lyrics of ‘Waniska’ – “Waniska Petapan oma” (Wake up! The sun is coming), “Asay piyesisak ki-nikamowak” (The birds are already singing), “Pe-miyonakwan kitaskinaw” (How beautiful this land of ours is) – carry a profound essence of Nêhiyawak heritage. Through each note, Megan strides forward a sense of belonging and identity among the young minds, nurturing a bond with a legacy stretching through time. Her voice, rich with ancestral whispers, fosters an environment where tradition flourishes amidst the modern educational ethos.

Megan’s diligence and respect for cultural protocols have propelled her into a significant role within the school. Her rendition of ‘Waniska’ has enriched the school’s daily routine, sowing seeds of cultural appreciation and understanding among her peers. The morning chant, under Megan’s gentle lead, has become a symbolic journey, reaffirming a connection to ancestral roots and instilling a profound sense of Nation and Nehiyawak way of life.

Each morning, as the first notes of ‘Waniska’ resonate through the school, there’s an unspoken acknowledgment of the Nehiyawak way of life that binds each individual to a larger narrative. Megan Pfefferle, through her singing and drumming, has emerged as a symbol of cultural continuity and understanding. Her leadership in this tradition underscores the vibrant cultural ethos that forms the cornerstone of the educational experience at Kapawe’no Nêhiyawak School. Through her, the Sunrise Song lives, breathes, and continues to inspire a bond with an enduring Nehiyawak way of life that promises to blossom with each passing day.

Last modified: October 28, 2023

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