Naming the West : Stories Siksika Chief Nato-Sapi School

Elders' StoriesElders' Stories

Siksika Elder Story 1:
Chief Nato-Sapi School

Morning, we all got into the class, then the teacher would tell two girls, “All right, get those two boxes of scissors,” and the girls would bring the scissors. Boys and girls would each get one pair of scissors, and then they’ll call out two more girls to go get two catalogues, Eaton’s and Sears. And they tear off a page out of each of them, and when the teacher said, “start cutting” we had to cut paper dolls along with the girls.

We didn’t know that you’re supposed to learn how to read and write and add and all of that. And we had to do it. The blackboard, there was nothing on it – we had blackboards. But all we did was cut paper dolls all morning. We were always in a hurry for twelve o’clock to come. Because we know we are not going to come back this afternoon. This afternoon at one o’clock, that’s when you go to the barn. You see that great big barn at Old Sun School? That’s where we were sent half a day, to clean out the manure, go up to the loft to get ready for the next day, and to get the troughs filled with hay.

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