As principal of Mount Boucherie Secondary, I would like to welcome our students, families, and community partners to our school. Our school theme for the 2016-2017 school year is to encourage our students to "Go Confidently in the Direction of their Dreams." We have chosen the Ojibwe legend of the Dreamcatcher as the symbol for this year's theme. Our hope is that together we can create a strong weave for our students' dreamcatchers in order to provide the support needed for each one of them to successfully pursue their goals, passions and dreams in the year ahead and into the future. In partnership with families and community, we hope all of our students will graduate from Mount Boucherie Secondary with purpose, dignity and options. We hope the symbolism if the dreamcatcher will help and encourage everyone to go confidently in the directions of their dreams.
The Dreamcatcher Symbol
According to legend, dreams are messages from the sacred spirits. It is said that the hole in the center of the web allows the good dreams through while the bad dreams are trapped in the web until they disappear in the morning sun. Dreamcatchers are believed to bless the "sleeping one" with pleasant dreams, good luck and harmony throughout their lives.
In some First Nations cultures, a dreamcatcher is a handmade object based on a willow hoop, on which is woven a loose net or web. The dreamcatcher is then decorated with sacred items such as feathers and beads. Dreamcatchers originated with the Ojibwe people and were later adopted by some neighboring nations through intermarriage and trade. It wasn't until the Pan-Indian Movement of the 1960s and 1970s that they were adopted by Native Americans of a number of different nations. Some consider the dreamcatcher a symbol of unity among the various Indian Nations, and a general symbol of identification with Native American or First Nations cultures.
The Dreamcatcher Legend
A spider was quietly spinning his web in his own space. It was beside the sleeping space of Kookum, the grandmother. Each day, Kookum watched the spider at work, quietly spinning away. One day as she was watching him, her grandson came in. "Kookum-iiya", he shouted, glancing at the spider. He stomped over to the spider, picked up a shoe and went to hit it.
"No-keeqwa", the old lady whispered, "don't hurt him".
"Kookum, why do you protect the spider?." asked the little boy. The old lady smiled, but didn't answer. When the boy left, the spider went to the old worman and thanked her for saving his life. He said to her, "For many days you have watched me spin and weave my web. You have admired my work. In return, for saving my life, I will give you a gift." He smiled his special spider smile and moved away, spinning as he went.
Soon the moon glistened on the magical silvery web moving gently in the window. "See how I spin?" he said. See and learn, for each web will snare bad dreams. Only good dreams will go through the small hole. This is my gift to you. Use it so that only good dreams will be remembered. The bad dreams will become hopelessly entangled in the web."