Dance was a big part of the ninth annual youth powwow presented by School District 8’s aboriginal education department. Photo submitted

Powwow celebrates First Nations youth and culture

Approximately 2,000 youth and adults participated in the School District 8 event

Submitted

On May 17, approximately 2,000 youth and adults participated in the ninth annual youth powwow, presented by School District 8’s aboriginal education department.

It was a day to celebrate First Nations youth and culture. The theme this year was Stepping Towards Reconciliation. The steps of learning readying youth for this year’s powwow included classroom lessons, circle storytelling, making of regalia, powwow drum and dance lessons.

These lessons are instrumental in teaching youth historical truths as well as making the effort to reclaim and celebrate First Nations culture, said Gail Higginbottom, district principal of Aboriginal education.

Ktunaxa elder Anne Jimmie welcomed all with prayer and Lower Kootenay Band council member Jared Basil welcomed everyone to powwow. Flags representing the Eagle Staff, Yaqan Nukiy, Canada, United States, Metis and Youth of School District 8 entered the Grand Entry accompanied by over 100 youth in regalia, elders and visitors.

Special guests Shirley Hill and Luke Whiteman, both championship dancers, invited students from the audience to learn a contemporary fancy shawl dance, a hoop dance and men’s fancy traditional dance. Students spun hoops, spread their butterfly wings and learned both traditional as well as modern steps.

The Grade 3/4 class from Yaqan Nukiy School performed a hoop dance; five hoops shaped into many images including butterflies and the world to demonstrate the colours of all nations and how, when we work together, we have the power to create a beautiful, caring world.

The afternoon session began with a proclamation to care for our First Nations sisters, aunties, and mothers. There was an acknowledgement of the many silent voices of the missing Indigenous women in Canada. The proclamation to end violence against women and children was signed by Lower Kootenay Band Chief Jason Louie and Creston Mayor Ron Toyota.

Those who walked from the LKB band office to the powwow included elders throughout the Ktunaxa Nation, LKB staff and community members from LKB and Creston. They wore red to represent the many missing voices. After the signing of the proclamation, these guests were invited to join the Grand Entry.

“We want to thank all participants for both their care and efforts to bring greater awareness to this important issue,” Higginbottom said.

The afternoon resumed with an SD8 graduation/honouring ceremony for Aboriginal students receiving their Grade 12 diploma this June. It was a time to celebrate their academic achievements, acknowledging their hard work and the many parents, grandparents, teachers and community members that supported them along their journey.

 

Just Posted

Buddhist monument to be dedicated in Slocan cemetery

A new post has been created to mark the site where at least nine Japanese Canadians were cremated

COLUMN: 1919 – Forest fire threatens Rosemont

From the files of the Nelson Daily News

LETTER: A good news story

From reader Lonnie Snyder

School District 8 names new international principal

Jann Schmidt has been an educator for 26 years

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Most Read