Students enjoy sharing knowledge of their aboriginal culture

Frank Gale
Published on May 31, 2014

Hannah King of St. George’s loves to dress up in her regalia and do some cultural dancing.

The self-taught dancer, who mainly learned up to this point by mimicking other dancers at powwows held annually in Flat Bay, was proud to have some steps explained to her by Arlene White, a local Mi’kmaq dancer.

This was all part of an Aboriginal Awareness Day on Friday at Our Lady of Mercy School, where King is a Grade 5 student. The event was a mini-powwow aimed at sharing the aboriginal culture of dance, spirituality, drumming, cooking, smudging and other Mi’kmaq lore with students.

“Mrs. White is a real good dancer and had some good advice for us (students),” she said.

Kaden White, also a Grade 7 student at the school, was having lots of fun with the day through his display that was shared with fellow student Parker Callahan in the hallway, along with explaining to students in lower grades about some of the cultures and traditions.

“I find it empowering to represent our culture. This mini-powwow prepares little kids for what they will further learn in social studies in Grade 5,” he said, noting he took aboriginal courses when he was in that grade.

From it, he still loves to drum and says it’s a great way to express himself.

“I love Aboriginal Awareness Day and anything to do with representing it,” he said.

When he was in Grade 5, White said he did a display and a talk on aboriginals and the Beothuk culture and that he really enjoyed.