Letter to the Editor: Four to represent Northwest at Heritage Fair

It is worthwhile to draw the attention of your readers to the departure of the student delegation selected to represent Rupert

Editor:

As a postscript to your excellent coverage of this year’s Northwest Regional Heritage Fair in the May 6 edition of the Northern View, it is worthwhile to draw the attention of your readers to the departure on Thursday of the student delegation selected to represent Prince Rupert and its surrounding communities at this year’s Provincial Heritage Fair.

Four students were chosen from among the dozens of young historians who exhibited their projects at North Pacific Cannery on May 1. Ryver Bryant (11) chose the topic “The Annual All Native Basketball Tournament”, Sam Charlton (10) researched the background of the storied gillnet boat “Nishga Girl”, Cyrus Morrison (14) presented insight into “The Northwest Rebellion”, and Madison Watkins (10) prepared an elegant project on “Fishing.”

During the Provincial Heritage Fair, our northwest delegates will join 70 other students and fair alumni from around British Columbia for five days of historical exploration in the province’s capital.

These activities culminate in a public project showcase at the Royal BC Museum on Sunday, July 5. Representatives of the federal, provincial and municipal governments from southern Vancouver Island will address the students at the opening ceremonies in Mungo Martin House, the Kwakwaka’wakw big house on the museum grounds.

By acquiring research and presentation skills ­— as well as conducting “real history” through the examination of primary sources — participants in the Heritage Fairs program are shaped to become exemplary community leaders capable of critical thinking, with deep respect for our shared Canadian heritage.

As a resident of Prince Rupert and a six-year Heritage Fair volunteer, I am proud to see this innovative approach to history expanding to schools throughout BC’s northwest.

Moreover, a collective debt of gratitude is owed to Ryver, Sam, Cyrus and Madison, who for five days will be ambassadors of our community’s rich storehouse of stories.

Students will be posting photos and blog updates during the Provincial Fair at the website of the BC Heritage Fairs Society, which is also a source of useful information about the program in general: bcheritagefairs.ca.

Michael Gurney

President, BC Heritage Fairs Society