As people get ready to honour and remember survivors of residential schools, School District 78 is taking it one step further by hosting it’s very first Truth and Reconciliation powwow in Hope.
Taking place at the Shxw’ow’hamel Community Building, on Sept. 23 the school district invites everyone to attend the “Honouring our Survivors” Powwow which starts at 1 p.m. The event is entry by donation and will be honouring survivors, both the children who didn’t make it home and the ones who did.
“Powwows are an integral part of our communities, celebrating our rich Indigenous cultures, traditions, and heritage,” said Caitlin Demmitt, one of the organizers and an Indigenous Support worker with the school district, via a letter. “This event will bring together individuals from various communities, as well as members of the local communities, to participate in traditional dancing.”
Currently, the event’s host drum is being done by Smokey Valley and Francis James. Everette White is the arena director, Chris Thomas Wells is the emcee, Rose Greene is the head lady dancer, and Victor Xastalanexw is the head man dancer.
People are also encouraged to bring their hand drums as a hand drum jam session will take place during dinner.
Organizers for the event are also seeking donations to help them with covering the powwow’s essential costs, such as host drums, floor managers, dance arena set up, guest performer fees, and “ensuring the safety and comfort of” attendees. As the intent is to make this an annual event, any extra money will go towards planning and covering the powwow for next year.
Spots are also still available for vendors who wish to participate and sell their wares during the event, with first preference being given to Indigenous vendors.
To learn more about the powwow, how to make a donation, or be a vendor at the event, email Demmitt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“By supporting the powwow, you will not only be recognized as a community leader and advocate for cultural diversity but also gain exposure to a diverse audience, including members of the Indigenous community, local residents, and visitors from neighbouring areas,” Demmitt said.
“We believe that the ‘Honouring Our Survivors’ Powwow is an exceptional platform to promote cultural understanding, bridge communities, and foster an appreciation for Indigenous traditions. And by working together, we can create an unforgettable experience that celebrates diversity and brings joy to all those in attendance.”