Grade 4 Students Sew Up Their Aboriginal Unit

by the Grade 4 classes

On Wednesday, April 14, Ms. Leslie McGary from the Native Friendship Centre came to teach us how to make potlatch pouches. A potlatch is a party that some aboriginal people may have 2-3 times every year. The only reason they have so few is that the family who holds one must save up for a long time. At the end of a potlatch, the chief gives away a present in the potlatch pouch to everyone to thank them for coming.

The process of making them can be hard for the first time, but once you get the hang of it, it’s really fun. On the front, there is a button, which is made out of wood but on the front there is a piece of flattened copper. Every time you were at a potlatch, you would bring your copper so that if you got in a conflict with someone else about who owns what, you would cut off a piece of your copper and give it to them.

If you make a pouch, you should put something very special to you in it and give it to a friend, family member or someone special to you. You make the pouch with two colors: red meaning life and black meaning death.

Ms. McGary has come to talk to us many time throughout our study of aboriginal cultures. She is part of the Raven community and has taught us many things. We have to say a big “thank you” to her for spending so much time with us.


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