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Article and photos by Samuel Jerema
On June 7,
Gordon Bell High School celebrated Indigenous Day for the 4th consecutive year.
Students from Grades 7 to 9 gathered on the Gordon Bell Panther
Greenspace to learn about Indigenous culture and teachings as well as celebrate
contributions made to Canada by Indigenous Peoples.
Elder David Budd shared
the cultural attributes about each of the dances in the Pow Wow. A notable
story was about the men’s grass
dance, which includes warrior poses depicting warriors stalking prey.
“It is a fast dance with colourful
regalia, it’s not as fast as the
fancy dance though” he said.
Jedediya’s drum group were driving
the pace on the women’s Jingle Dance
and Fancy Shawl Dance.
Jedediya leads a drum
group every Tuesday after school
where all students can
come and learn about the drum, practice the
beats and even learn to sing.
really belts it out. When he’s putting
his heart into it you can see his signature pose with his left
hand raised up to his ear. He has refined his style and drums with
two sticks in his right hand.
“I worked the oil rigs in Alberta for years but I missed this,” Jed reflected. “I have
a passion for sharing culture with our youth, this is what they need for self-confidence.”
The morning ended with the Friendship
Song, the one where everyone holds hands and dances together, winding through
the field. Following a blessing, students, staff, and guests shared a bannock and stew feast.
Ms. Shams, organizer
and champion of Truth and Reconciliation, put it this way: “The drum group’s voices awoke the community.
The whole day was a huge success...Until next year. Miigwetch.”