BEAVER LAKE - Last Tuesday, June 23, Amisk Community School on the Beaver Lake Cree Nation hosted a drive by graduation and commencement celebration.
"It was a fantastic event," said Amisk School principal Darlene Brereton-Cardinal. "These are huge accomplishments for the students — and education is so very important and critical. It was imperative that the students were recognized."
Beaver Lake students who graduated from head start, kindergarten, high school and post secondary, were recognized, as well those students who were commencing from Grades 6 and 9.
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the annual celebration was up in the air. But as government officials announced the plans for Phase Two of the provincial relaunch, the celebration preparation began.
"It was a whole community effort," said Brereton-Cardinal. "All departments helped out in any way they could."
Local business Adby Bus Lines decorated a bus with posters to congratulate the students, the nation's treatment centre staff and band security staff also made up awesome posters. The community's public works shop provided sand to hold the stands that featured each of the graduate’s pictures, and the Health Center provided the grad meal.
Chief, council and community share with grads
The drive-thru grad brought Amisk Community School staff out to cheer the graduates on. Brereton-Cardinal says many of the staff members stayed late the night before to make sure that the amazing decorations were put up.
Beaver Lake Cree Nation Chief Germaine Anderson, and band councillors Shirley Paradis, Felix Lewis and Charlene Cardinal all shared words of encouragement and support for each of the students. Beaver Lake Cree Nation Tribal Administrator Jolene Anderson, and BLCN Liaison Colleen Anderson also assisted with the planning the event.
Lac La Biche RCMP members, including Beaver Lake's enhanced policing officer Const. Joe. Greer and Staff Sgt. Jerry Nutbrown were in attendance for the celebration, along with Merle Patenaude, the First Nations, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) Grad coach at J. A. Williams High School, and Valerie Hunter, the school's Student Success Advocate.
*event details submitted by Darlene Brereton-Cardinal