Queen's celebrates Aboriginal culture during weeklong event
By Dominique Delmas, Communications Intern
The Queen's community will have numerous opportunities to broaden their understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal culture during Aboriginal Awareness Week March 17-22.
"We want to show that everybody is welcome," says Melanie Gray (Artsci'15), co-president of the Queen's Native Student Association (QNSA), which is co-hosting the week with the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre (FDASC). "The goal of the week is really just to create awareness but also to ask people to come in and have fun. It's very exciting when people show up. Last year we had a really good turnout. People were asking questions and that's what we want. We want people to become aware and not be afraid to join in."
The marquee event of the week is the second annual Indigenous Celebration of Arts, Culture and Dance at the Athletics and Recreation Centre on March 22.
"We have dancers, singers and information booths," says Ms. Gray. "We want people to embrace our culture, and see that we're not separate from everybody – that we're not all just different cultures. We're all interconnected in some way and we want to show that. We want to show how exciting, fun and rich our culture can be."
Some of the other highlights include: a concert by A Tribe Called Red, a group that puts a new-age twist on traditional powwow music, book launches, guest speakers, workshops and a women's full moon ceremony. The events are all free (with the exception of the concert) and open to everyone.
Along with Aboriginal Awareness Week, the QNSA also collaborates with the FDASC to organize its annual symposium in November and weekly workshops and guest speakers celebrating Aboriginal culture.
"The QNSA is completely student-run and open to everybody. We're based out of the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre and work to create Aboriginal awareness on campus," says Ms. Gray.
Visit the Aboriginal Awareness Week website for more information and a full list of events.