Check out our Aboriginal Job Board!
Elder appreciates city recognition for National Aboriginal Day
Blackfoot Elder Francis First Charger does not take lightly his role to deliver the traditional blessing, which kicked off the fourth annual Lethbridge Aboriginal Week.
“Years ago things like this never happened. It’s nice to be recognized by the city. When you are asked to take part, and depended upon, it is a great honour,” said First Charger.
Like many cities across the province, Lethbridge held a week-long celebration to mark the contributions of Aboriginal people to everyday life.
“I believe that this week is an important part of building relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal folk,” said Mayor Rajko Dodic, who himself was recognized by the Aboriginal community.
First Charger led the traditional naming ceremony in which Dodic received the Aboriginal name Night Rider.
“The naming ceremony is one of our biggest honours. It doesn’t just happen overnight. The mayor is being recognized by the Aboriginal community of Lethbridge for his support,” said Robin Little Bear, president of Aboriginal Council of Lethbridge.
First Charger also presented outgoing Lethbridge College president and CEO, Tracy Edwards, with a plaque and appreciation gifts. She was recognized by presenters as being the “first president of the college that has done so much for the Aboriginal people,” said First Charger.
“This is a week where the city recognizes relationships at a local level,” said Jacinda Weiss, executive director of the ACL.
Aboriginal culture was highlighted by such events as a mini powwow, a hand drum competition, and an art exhibit. It all kicked off with an opening ceremony at the Galt Museum and Archives on June 18.
Teacher Jamie Medicine Crane had her dance troupe from École St. Mary take part in the celebrations, performing a jingle dance, known as the healing dance, and the fancy dance, known as the butterfly dance. The multicultural troupe is comprised of students from K–6 at the school that is part of the Holy Spirit School Division in Lethbridge.
“Our dance troupe has been going for about seven years... I’ve been dancing for over 28 years and, for myself, I wanted to give it back to the community…We are proud to celebrate Lethbridge Aboriginal Week,” said Medicine Crane.
The event also included a traditional community feast of stew, bannock and berry soup. The feast was prepared by the Blackfoot Family Lodge Society a Lethbridge organization that provides relocation skills and interim housing for Aboriginal women and children relocating from rural to urban settings.
Throughout Alberta, as in the rest of Canada, June 21 was marked as National Aboriginal Day. Some communities spread celebrations throughout the week. Grande Prairie held an Aboriginal We Got Talent competition which included a magic show, fiddling, traditional dancing, jigging and drumming. Edmonton held weeklong events including an Electric Powwow, a National Aboriginal Day Evening in the Park, and a music jamboree. Calgary held events including: a golf tournament, family day events, a Friendship Centre BBQ and open house and a powwow.
National Aboriginal Day was declared in 1996. June 21 was picked by the Canadian government and Aboriginal organizations to coincide with the June solstice.
Celebrations recognize the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.
Photo caption: Sophia (left) and Jessa were part of the École St. Mary dance troupe that performed during National Aboriginal Week in Lethbridge.
- Community Access
- Contact Us
- Our History
- Archives Search
- In Depth
Share this with friends
- The #IdleNoMore Movement
- Relationship between Canada's Justice System and Aboriginal People
- 2013 Guide to Powwow Country Events Calendar
- Play Radio Bingo to win!
- CFWE-FM Alberta Radio Network
- Buffalo Spirit Foundation
- Western Association of Aboriginal Broadcasters (WAAB)
- July Windspeaker - June 24
- July Raven's Eye - June 24
- July Saskatchewan Sage - June 24
- July Alberta Sweetgrass - July 8
- Download 2013 AMMSA media kits for:
* Sage - Raven's Eye - Birchbark
- Online advertising on www.ammsa.com.
Subscribe & Donate
- Order a Windspeaker digital subscription
- Order a Windspeaker print subscription
- Support independent, Indigenous media in Canada by making a donation via paypal