Nitohtahwin Gathering

Nitohtahwin is a Cree word meaning “listen to me”

“ka-kí-kiskéyihtétan óma, namoya kinwés maka aciyowés pohko óma óta ka-hayayak wasétam askihk, ékwa ka-kakwéy miskétan kiskéyihtamowin, iyinísiwin, kistéyitowin, mina nánisitotatowin kakiya ayisiniwak, ékosi óma kakiya ka-wahkotowak”

Cree Proverb

Realize that we as human beings have been put on this earth for only a short time and that we must use this time to gain wisdom, knowledge, respect and the understanding for all human beings since we are all relatives.


Nitohtahwin Gathering History in WCPS

The purpose of the Nitohtahwin gathering in Wolf Creek Public Schools is to provide our First Nation, Métis and Inuit students an opportunity to reflect on their own learning and provide input into how we can better support their needs.  

The gathering will occur every two years with each school organizing their events to ensure it is consistent with the needs of the students in each school.


Ponoka Outreach School

Students, staff, elders, and family members gathered at Ponoka Outreach School to participate in a Nitohtahwin Gathering and a traditional Cree feast on Wednesday, October 4th.  

This event focused specifically on creating an uplifting experience for students while attempting to determine their greatest needs as students. Ponoka Outreach School staff are highly committed to serving their students in the best way possible; open and honest communication as well as mutual respect have proven to be essential to the tremendous success enjoyed by Ponoka Outreach School.

Nitohtahwin means “listen to me” – and this event was an opportunity for Outreach students to express their opinions on how programs are delivered at the Outreach school. The morning of excellent group discussions proved to be very helpful to students and staff. The students’ input will have a very real impact as teachers continue to plan and adjust programs this school year at Ponoka Outreach.

Honouring Cree culture is a very important aspect of Reconciliation at Ponoka Outreach. As a result, the morning sessions for students were organized around the traditional Cree medicine wheel. Students circulated through four different sessions, each of which followed the theme represented by the colours of the medicine wheel: red – spiritual, yellow – physical, white – mind, and blue – emotional. In each session, students participated in activities that involved honest discussions of issues that are concerning to students. Students also related their personal experiences as learners at the Outreach School with the emphasis on finding ways to improve instruction for all students.

Following the discussions and activities, the students, staff and elders were joined by family members and many other guests to enjoy a traditional Cree feast.

Ponoka Secondary Campus

First Nation tradition and culture was celebrated at Ponoka Secondary. Students experienced "the what and the why" of first nations culture, by rotating through five cultural activities. The activities included: hoop dancing, a talking circle on residential schools, cooking bannock, learning about smudging, and learning about the seven sacred teachings. At the end of the day students and staff were treated to a hoop dancers, traditional dancers, and a round dance.


Each of the three schools in Ponoka designed activities to gather thoughts and reflections in regards to learning for our First Nation, Métis and Inuit students.

The day at Ponoka Secondary Campus started with a presentation on the “Red Dress Project” focuses on the issues of murdered and missing Aboriginal women across Canada. The remainder of the day provided a number of opportunities for First Nation, Métis and Inuit students to express their ideas in a number of formats including a talking circle talk with Elder Joseph Deschamps.  


The first ever Nitohtahwin Gathering was held on Friday, June 19, 2015 on the eve of National Aboriginal Day.

The gathering took place at the old Ponoka Elementary School followed by a traditional feast. The Nitohtahwin gathering was for Grades 7-12 First Nations and Métis students.

Grade 6 First Nations and Métis students from Ponoka Elementary School joined the feast as well.

All students from Ponoka Elementary School, Ponoka Secondary Campus and Ponoka Outreach School were invited to attend an Aboriginal Day Celebration at the PES school grounds. This celebration included dancing, Tipi teachings and hand games.