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EDITORIAL: Enjoying Mi'kmaq heritage at student powwow event


Despite the turmoil taking place in this province in people being identified as Indigenous and whether they will be permitted to be part of the Qalipu First Nation, it’s still good to see National Indigenous People’s Day being celebrated.

In Cape St. George, as part of National Indigenous People’s Day, the Mawio’mi/Powwow for the students and community is being held in Cape St. George on June 19 to celebrate National Indigenous People’s Day, which is actually on June 21.

The event is being partnered by the two schools in the community – Our Lady of the Cape and École Notre Dame du Cap – which means that it will involve English and French school students.

That’s really important, since this means it’s involving everyone in the community.

This school-based powwow will really give students at the schools an insight into the Mi’kmaq culture from traditional songs, preparation of traditional food, craft work, traditional dancing and language that will be featured during workshops taking place throughout the day.

While this won’t be as big as the Bay St. George Powwow held annually in Flat Bay, it will have some of the same sort of appeal, including a Grand Entry with elders carrying flags, prior to the classroom sessions.

The workshops that follow will lead to students learning firsthand about Mi’kmaq culture.

Just like a regular powwow, this student event will also be complimented with drumming on the community drum.

The annual Bay St. George Powwow in Flat Bay is a well revered event and this one in Cape St. George is certainly not meant as a competition with it, but it will give students in the Cape St. George schools the opportunity to be more immersed in the Mi’kmaq culture and learn about tradition and heritage.

Powwows are basically celebrations that showcase Indigenous music, dances, dance apparel, food and crafts and are commonly hosted by First Nations communities.

The Benoit First Nation is hosting this one in conjunction with the two schools in Cape St. George and it’s certainly an opportunity for all involved to celebrate their Indigenous heritage, no matter what challenges are being faced.

Indigenous is Indigenous, so no matter what labels the federal government may place on it, go ahead and enjoy your heritage. Nobody can stop you from doing that.

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