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boarding school

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Some Mount Currie kids are about to experience the best kind of "boarding school." All 14 students in Grade 7 at the Xit'olacw community school will be hitting the slopes of Blackcomb on Monday to learn the basics of snowboarding. The program is part of a partnership between the Canadian Snowboarding Federation and Canadian Pacific Hotels. Hotels across the country will be sponsoring a day of snowboarding for underprivileged kids. The Chateau Whistler Resort will launch the program on Monday with the Mount Currie kids. "What we really want to do is give the kids the day of their lives," says Sonya Hwang from the Chateau. Building self-esteem through sport is an aim of the program, as well as establishing a closer link with the local First Nations community. The Xit'olacw Community School is only a 30-minute drive from Whistler Village but it can seem to be a world away, Hwang says. Over half of the 1,600 band members are under the age of 25 and 85 per cent of the entire membership is on some form of social assistance or is unemployed. The 25-year-old school is a place where children learn Lilwayt ways so that they can build the academic and innovative skills they need for the future. The kids will be outfitted by Roots and will get boarding lessons from members of the Canadian Snowboarding Team and Blackcomb snowboard instructors. And since no day on the mountain is complete without a little apres, the Chateau's hosting a party for the kids and instructors around the hotel's fire pit.

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