Community

Celebrate Aboriginal Day this weekend

CARMEN HENRY - MARGARET SPEIRS
CARMEN HENRY
— image credit: MARGARET SPEIRS

SEVERAL NEW highlights have been added to the Aboriginal Day celebrations here set for this weekend.

Set to open with a traditional ceremony, this Saturday is packed with events and activities for everyone.

The theme “Empowering our Future” refers to showcasing the talents of people in the community, including the performers, role models and, for the first year, the graduation ceremony of the Head Start programs.

The Head Start children from Kitsumkalum, Kitselas and the Kermode Head Start programs will graduate up to kindergarten, says Carmen Henry, chairperson of the organizing committee for Aboriginal Days.

The children will be escorted by the Suwilaawks Community School drum group.

This year’s celebration will feature more entertainment as more bands, soloists and dancers will perform than last year.

Dance groups are coming from Kitimat and Prince Rupert as well as around the Terrace area.

The dancers start out with the Xbi’Shuundts Dance Group, named for an elder held in high esteem, who are part of the opening ceremony.

The traditional ceremony to open the day’s events will include the formality of acknowledging with respect that the events will take place on Tsimshian First Nation territory, and asking permission to use the land for the day, says  Henry.

A ceremonial piece is handed from the Xbi’Shuundts Dance Group to Kermode Friendship Society as a symbolic gesture that gives Kermode the blessings to hold the event for the day, she explains.

At the end of the day, the ceremonial piece is handed back.

In the afternoon, the Origin Story will be told of how the four crests came to be.

Each crest – eagle, raven, wolf and killer whale – is associated with a different race and the story tells about which gifts each one contributes.

As the story is told, children get to pass around a globe and sing and dance.

For the second year, the Kermode prince and princess will be crowned with last year’s prince and princess passing their crowns to those chosen for the next year.

The prince and princess will be featured in the Riverboat Days parade and at special events as role models throughout the next year, says Henry.

Kody Kermode will be out and about this year again and may even dance with the performing groups again.

One thing that hopefully will happen is that powwow dancers will show up as invitations have gone out, says Henry.

“If any show up, we would love to throw them up on stage,” she says.

Henry says it’s her third year on the committee to organize the festivities and there are more people who want to participate in the day’s celebration than ever before.

So many in fact, that times for each band and other performances had to be set to the exactly minute so everyone could be fit in.

The 10-member committee put a lot of hard work into organizing the events, including spending one whole day on just sorting out the agenda, she says.

In addition to all the events, there will be traditional foods, food vendors, craft vendors, information booths, family fun activities, a children’s jump castle, face painting and free entertainment.

Several bands will play to wrap up the day’s activities from about 5:30 p.m. onward to the closing, which is later this year.

Park hours have been extended so the day’s celebration will carry on until the 9 p.m. closing, says Henry.

Anyone who wants to volunteer or any vendors that want to be there for the day are welcome to  call Kermode Friendship Society to show their interest right up to the Aboriginal Day celebration.

Everyone is welcome to come celebrate the day.

All events are free at the park, people will just need money to buy food from the vendors on-site.

Aboriginal Day celebrations take place this Saturday, June 25 in George Little Park starting at 8 a.m. with the display and vendor setup and the opening ceremony at 10 a.m.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Downtown tree ready to light up
 
New parents win speech language items
 
Seniors cut ribbon for new elevator
Kist resigns as Pacific NorthWest LNG president; Progress Energy CEO acting president
 
Winner announced in Kootenay Advertiser colouring contest
 
Fund set up for deceased man’s family
Slocan River Streamkeepers host pair of information sessions
 
On the prowl
 
The history that lies beneath the grass and leaves

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 24 edition online now. Browse the archives.