Author talk will discuss potlatch history, education in Agassiz

Davidson’s history and education come together for informative presentation

Sarah Davidson is speaking to the public on Feb. 27, prior to her keynote speech for the Fraser-Cascade School District’s Professional Development Day. (Submitted photo)

An author visit to the Fraser-Cascade will shed some light on the history of the potlatch, its ban and resurrection.

And the author has a connection to the 1969 potlatch held when the ban was lifted. Sara Florence Davidson is the daughter of Robert Davidson, a carver whose totem pole was raised at that historic potlatch.

She has been invited to speak to parents and the general public, by the Fraser-Cascade District Parent Advisory Council. Her talk will be held on Feb. 27 at Agassiz secondary at 6:30 p.m.

The talk is not just about potlatch, though. Its title is Potlatch as Pedagogy, Learning Through Ceremony, and she will discuss the role of intergenerational learning.

Davidson will also be speaking to educators the following day, as keynote speaker for the Fraser-Cascade Professional Development Day.

Davidson is an assistant professor in the Teacher Education Department at the University of the Fraser Valley where she teaches Indigenous Education and English Language Arts methods courses. She is also co-author of Potlatch as Pedagogy: Learning through Ceremony and the project lead for the Indigenous Storybooks project, where she is exploring how traditional Indigenous stories can be used to strengthen text-based and Indigenous literacy practices.

Over the course of her education, Davidson came to see how the traditions of the Haida practiced by her father—holistic, built on relationships, practical, and continuous—could be integrated into contemporary educational practices. From this realization came the roots for the book.

She worked as an educator with adolescents in the K-12 system for close to a decade in both British Columbia and Yukon Territory. Much of her classroom experience was working with Indigenous students in rural and/or remote communities and with students who were making the transition from rural communities to urban centres to complete their education. She also has experience at the post-secondary level working with Fundamental Adult Learners.

The event is free and open to parents and the general community, but registration is required. Childcare will be available by request.

For more information, contact Miranda Cowan at 604-869-2842. Register online at

To learn more about Davidson, visit her website at


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