Calgary Board of Education Nelson Mandela High School
45 Saddletowne Circle NE, Calgary AB T3J 4W3 | Grades 10-12
t | 403-817-3500    e |



A wide variety of events take place at Nelson Mandela High School, please see the links on the left for more information

Pre-opening news conference

In the opening days of the 2016/2017 school year Nelson Mandela High School hosted the Alberta Education minister David Eggen and a number of other CBE school trustees and dignitaries for a news conference.


Area 3 director, Diane Yee was in attendance, and our principal Teresa Martin spoke to the collected media that was present.

Some of our student speakers were interviewed by attending media.

School blessing

On Wednesday, September 8, 2016 Nelson Mandela High School was honoured with a school blessing from members of Siksika Nation; Alex Scalplock and his wife Lori and son Josey Wright; Skip Wolfleg; and Randy and Dolores Alexander with their daughter, Piihkin’aki and grandchildren.

Students and staff were honoured with a Flag song, followed by an Honor song, and dance performances such as Chicken, Fancy and Jingle. Randy Alexander gave a blessing for the school where he indicated that Nelson Mandela High School is significant and has an incredible role to play on these Traditional Lands because it is a place where people from all over the world could come together with the purpose of making the world a better place.

Alex Scalplock spoke to the assembled students about what an amazing opportunity they were being given.

Randy and Dolores also honoured one of our staff members, Jamie-Dee Peterson, with a Blackfoot Name, Iikinap’aki (Gentle Woman). Randy told the staff and students at Nelson Mandela that the name held significance in that “a person can’t have confidence to be ‘gentle’ unless they are first strong.” Ms. Peterson shared that although she was surprised by the naming ceremony, she felt incredibly blessed that Randy and Dolores would give her such an honour.


Beakerhead is smash of art and science, which runs in early September every year in Calgary. Students from Nelson Mandela participated in the "Ingenuity challenge" where they had to create a short video under the theme of "music" using a supply of items given to them. The items included a paint can, glow sticks, rubber bands, and ping pong balls


Nelson Mandela High School’s Peer Ambassadors and Punjabi class celebrated Diwali, a festival of Lights on November 30th, 2016. Diwali is a five-day Festival of Lights and is traditionally celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains and is one of the most significant festivals in the Indian culture.

The word Diwali means rows of lighted lamps and it is the Festival of Lights because houses and shops are decorated with candles and colourful lights. This shows the victory of light over darkness and good over evil.

For many families, Diwali honours, the goodness of wealth, start of the new business year and some others will say prayers to the goddess for prosperous year ahead.

Peer Ambassadors held a celebration at lunch dancing, henna, music were part of the festivities including singing as well as selling diyas, clay pot for candles. The club members hand painted them for the occasion. The proceeds from the sale of the clay pot candle holders went to We Scare Hunger, a project in support of Calgary Interfaith Food Bank. Our Punjabi class visited Hindu Mandir and Gurudwara to see the cultural and religious connection to the festival first hand.

Music retreat to Banff

Music students travelled to Banff to get some intensive instrument instruction while also getting to know each other better.

Ed Camp

Nelson Mandela hosted teachers from all over the city and music students got together and performed for them.

Help the Homeless/Socks for Street Souls

Music Leadership organized a schoolwide donation program to help Calgary’s Homeless Community find more comfort in the cold months by encouraging everyone to bring in new, warm winter socks and various basic toiletries. These Items were then delivered to the Mustard Seed Street Ministry.

Lunch Time Benefit Concert for the Calgary Women’s Shelter

Students got together and organized student performers to host a concert at lunch time. A small fee was charged for entrance to the concert. Lunch was supplied for everyone through a generous community donation and served to our guests. Donation items were accepted and all proceeds were delivered to the Calgary Women’s Shelter.

Winter Extravaganza

Students from across fine arts disciplines gathered in December to showcase their talents.

Pink Shirt Day Feb 22nd

Nelson Mandela High School hosted its first Pink Shirt Day on February 22nd. Guest speakers inlcuded Candy Palmater and Calgary Stampeder Bow Levi Mitchell. Much of the day was sponsored by Mount Royal University and Shaw.

Wellness Symposium

This fall Nelson Mandela High School received a wellness grant from the University of Alberta and Alberta Health. As a result, the wellness committee developed a wellness survey for staff and students to determine what the schoolwide needs were in regards to wellness issues. Based on the results of the survey, a wellness symposium was planned for the entire school

The committee tried its best to give students and staff choices in terms of sessions to attend at the symposium. This was an ideal way to encourage students and staff to attend sessions that are both meaningful and of relevance.

The symposium commenced with our first keynote address by Walter MacDonald Whitebear, an Aboriginal singer/songwriter /storyteller who got the audience to reflect on its own journey and challenges. Walter was able to connect to the audience by sharing his journey as a young aboriginal person living in poverty, and the challenge of alcoholism that devastated his entire family and community. Walter still left the audience with a message of hope in that he said “you can’t allow the sad things that have happened to you define the rest of your life”. We must rise to the challenge and accept what has happened to us and draw strength from the circumstances that we have endured.

Within the course of the day, the symposium hosted over 45 professional presenters that presented on such issues such as: financial management, eating healthy, active living, anti-bullying/anti-racism, sexual health, healthy relationships etc. The staff and students were able to attend their choice of two sessions during the morning and afternoon

Within the course of the day, the symposium hosted over 45 professional presenters that presented on such issues such as: financial management, eating healthy, active living, anti-bullying/anti-racism, sexual health, healthy relationships etc. The staff and students were able to attend their choice of two sessions during the morning and afternoon.

To conclude the symposium was our final keynote speaker of the symposium, Constable Paban Dhaliwal. Constable Dhaliwal explored with the audience the career as a police officer and the challenges that go with it. He was able to make cultural connection with most of our students since we are a diverse school in the heart of a very special community when it comes to multiculturalism.

The feedback from staff/students indicated that overwhelmingly the participants benefited from the wellness symposium in that they were able to learn new strategies and skills that they can use to deal with future challenges.