“It’s like I am exhaling for the first time in a long time. Really learned in the last two years how much connection means to people,” stated Cheryl Whiskeyjack, the chief director of the Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society.
“I don’t think that’s an Indigenous thing. I think that’s a human thing. Just to be able to welcome everybody back into the circle and celebrate has meant so much.
“We are better together.”
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Bent Arrow works to promote the Indigenous group in a culturally related, genuine and honest means. On Tuesday, a few hundred individuals gathered for drumming and dancing, together with a spherical dance.
Whiskeyjack stated National Indigenous Peoples Day is a chance for everybody to study extra and celebrate concerning the rich traditions, artwork and history of Indigenous individuals.
Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations Grand Chief George Arcand remembers tales about his family members having to cover their tradition.
“Part of the change we need to make is making people feel comfortable that we don’t have to hide those things,” he stated.
On Tuesday, Arcand stated watching connections being fashioned on the Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society was every part, including the occasions present the world the issues his individuals have to provide.
“When you see the children dancing, it brings happiness to me, to see our people finally standing up and saying, ‘It’s OK to be Aboriginal. It’s OK to be First Nation.’ Now we need to start figuring out how we start to make that difference.”
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Artist Alaynee Goodwill-Littlechild was demonstrating conventional hide-painting to kids on the Art Gallery of Alberta on Tuesday and stated educating her tradition is a part of reconciliation.
It has been a tough few years with the latest discoveries of suspected and confirmed unmarked graves at residential faculty websites throughout the nation.
Both Goodwill-Littlechild and Whiskeyjack famous whereas The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in September, also referred to as Orange Shirt Day, is about recognizing the legacy of the Canadian residential faculty system — there’s a lot extra to their individuals’s history than tragedy.
“I think both days separately and together are still really meaningful,” stated Goodwill-Littlechild, who’s a conventional First Nations artist from Maskwacis. “There’s still a lot to be shared.”
“There’s this sad narrative around Indigenous people and certainly there is a tone to that day — there is definitely a reason we need to have it — but it isn’t the whole of who we are,” Whiskeyjack stated of Orange Shirt Day.
“I think one of the reasons we have been so resilient and able to withstand so many things over our history is that we aren’t that — we are strength, we are hope, we are all of those good things as well. A day like today, really sort of bubbles all of that up to the surface for the whole day.”
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Communities throughout Canada mark National Indigenous Peoples Day
Whiskeyjack stated as a lot as individuals want to acknowledge the previous — additionally they want to celebrate the nice too.
“I think Canada thinks they know who Indigenous people are, but when you look us up, it’s dark — and this isn’t dark, and this is more representative of who we are.”
Whiskeyjack stated the youngsters in attendance at Tuesday’s occasions got here from a number of backgrounds, and a few are new to Canada.
“Having them experience celebrations like this really colours how they look at Indigenous people going forward in our ways and ceremonies. Same thing with newcomers — so many of these kids are also newcomer kids.
“So having that ability to have that impact on their impressions and beliefs about Indigenous people is really important — I think it’s a really important part of reconciliation.”
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