This year, 1,200 students participated in the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s Northern Spirit Games.

Staff and students came together at the annual February event, that has attracted more than 23,000 students, to participate in athletic, cultural and spiritual celebrations of Indigenous communities. The Games allow for staff and students to work as a team and have a fun day at school, all while learning about the lifestyle in northern communities.

“It’s not only about understanding the Indigenous community, it’s about having the older and younger students come together for a day of fun,” said Vanessa Pinto, resource teacher for the Toronto Catholic District School Board. “We always have waitlists for the event, it’s very popular.”

Each year, four high schools in Toronto host four elementary schools in their gymnasiums for a day of fun and games. Students learn 10 indoor and outdoor activities, like snowshoeing and spear throwing, traditions in First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultures.

Inspiring students to learn more about Indigenous culture is just one of the many ways that Ontario’s Catholic schools help build community.

Share this story today and celebrate the students of the Toronto Catholic District School Board.