Celebrating Aboriginal culture in Regina

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ASC is organizing on-campus activities for National Aboriginal Day

Maureen Mugerwa
Contributor

Osawa Kiniw Ihkwe Kayseas, a student success facilitator at the Aboriginal Students Centre (ASC), is excited for this year’s National Aboriginal Day.

She runs the student success centre for first-year aboriginal students transitioning to the University of Regina through the Omâ program.

The program provides learning support to new students via student services and helps them develop social networks.

On June 21, Kayseas will be helping out with National Aboriginal Day by ensuring the ASC’s contribution to the celebration.

National Aboriginal Day, first created in 1996 by the Canadian government and falling annually on June 21, recognize the different cultures and heritage of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis people of Canada.

“It is a day to celebrate our rich culture,” said Kayseas. “We aren’t the only ones. There are many Aboriginal people in Canada from coast to coast that will be celebrating National Aboriginal Day.”

This will be the fourth year the U of R has organized activities for National Aboriginal Day, a number that is significant to Aboriginal peoples.

“The Plains First Nations believe in the number four, because we have the four seasons, the four elements and many other things that come in fours,” said Kayseas.

“June 21 is the summer solstice, which is the longest day of the year, and this was a great time to do ceremony. People would perform their ceremonies on this day.”

ASC organized performances like the Pow Wow, and contests such as bannock baking are planned for the day.

The potato dance, rock painting and face painting are also planned for the day, as well as the the “Indian car pile” – a timed, contemporary update of phonebooth stuffing – letting people from all ages join in some fun and games.

The event is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Academic Green and lunch tickets are available at the ASC for five dollars, with students eating for free.

This year’s events will be put on in memory of elder Glen Anaquod, who started working for the U of R in 2006 and passed away May 31, 2011.

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