Tonight was our school holiday program. The whole community shows up to watch each class perform. We are a small community, mostly Native American. Cameras, iPads, smartphones are constantly filming the event. Everyone enjoys watching and performing. Former students find their favorite teachers and reminisce about their “old days,” and we reminisce because we are older! They share stories let us know what’s new in their lives. It’s my favorite event because of that. At the end of the program, the Parent Education Committee and the Colville Confederated Tribes sponsor a sack of treats [oranges and candy]. Everybody looks forward to that!
Tonight was special: we researched how long our school has had a holiday program. We discovered that our town was incorporated in 1935, but that our school existed long before that. In 1913, the first Christmas event was held at the school, with the businesses of Wilbur and Almira sending boxes of treats for the children. Wilbur and Almira are towns about thirty-five miles away. In 1913, that’s quite a distance to be sharing treats.
1913. That means, tonight could have been the 101st holiday program presented at our school. That’s special. The crowd nodded and smiled at that fact — that tradition, a part of who we are. Lem Lem [Thank you.]