Indigenous people practice diverse spiritual traditions. These traditions vary by location, nation, and language. A common spiritual tradition amongst all Indigenous groups is something known as a blessing. A blessing is an essential spiritual tradition of the Okanagan Syilx peoples that is rooted in humility, gratitude, and kindness. A blessing is not a prayer. It is a spiritual offering in traditional language where the individual offering the blessing gives thanks, appreciation, respect, and kindness to all creatures on this planet. It is considered protocol to offer a blessing before the start of all significant events. School District 67 acknowledges and honors this protocol and is grateful for the opportunity to live and work, alongside Syilx Elders, knowledge keepers, and dignitaries who offer blessings on our behalf. In the words of Penticton Indian Band Elder, Grandma Grace Greyeyes, “We do not pray in a religious manner. We are humble and grateful creatures of this planet that offer kindness and appreciation to all things, all day. These are our traditional ways”.
The British Columbia Human Rights Code, the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Canadian Constitution, the Canadian charter of Rights and the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People include legal protections for the fundamental right of Indigenous people to freely practice their spiritual traditions.