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Aboriginal community prepares for celebration

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Sep 30, 2011 - 11:46 AM |

The fourth annual Northern Aboriginal Festival will take place at the Sudbury Community Arena Oct. 1-2.

The event is co-hosted by Cambrian College, Laurentian University, Collège Boréal, and the City of Greater Sudbury.

The festival, which is open to the entire community, will showcase and celebrate many forms of aboriginal culture. It will include a pow-wow and vendors’ market, which will feature food, crafts, artisans and information kiosks.

Opening ceremonies will start at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 1, with the first Grand Entry beginning at 12 p.m. There will also be Inter-Tribal dancing.

“From its inception, this festival has focused on bringing people together,” Sheila Cote-Meek, associate vice-president, academic & indigenous programs at Laurentian University, said in a press release.

“Years ago, Laurentian University and Cambrian College hosted individual on-campus pow-wows, but since this festival was founded in 2007, it’s been a tremendous success, gathering students and members of the larger community together to celebrate aboriginal culture and achievement.”

“The festival is for anyone who’s committed to Aboriginal culture, or just curious to learn more about it,” Cambrian president Sylvia Barnard said, in the press release.

“It’s a chance for aboriginal people to share their culture with others, and pass it down from one generation to the next. With approximately 600 aboriginal students on campus at Cambrian, we’re a proud supporter of the event.”

Collège Boréal president Denis Hubert-Dutrisac said the Northern Aboriginal Festival represents another opportunity for this post-secondary institution to encourage the development of all the aboriginal community.

“Our commitment towards the Northern Aboriginal Festival is one of the many initiatives set up by Collège Boréal such as the inauguration of the Centre Louis-Riel, last November, and the Métis educational canoe that’s under construction, in front of our main campus in Sudbury.”

Greater Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk said the festival “is a way to commemorate our rich and diverse community and to show others that it is one that we can be proud to call home. It’s a celebration of culture and peace and of the human spirit.”

This year, the festival also includes an Education Day Oct. 3, co-ordinated and supported by the Rainbow District School Board. Students from Rainbow schools and local First Nation community schools will attend this event, which was made possible by financial support from Vale.

“The Youth Education Day component of the festival provides students with the opportunity to explore secondary and post-secondary programs and career pathways,” Kathy Dokis-Ranney, principal of First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education with the Rainbow District School Board, said.

“Students will also have an opportunity to participate in cultural workshops and sample traditional food. Elder teachings about Respect will also be shared with all.”
This year, Youth Education Day will feature musical guest Jacinthe Trudeau and daughter Isabelle Seguin.


-Posted by Heather Green-Oliver

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