OLDS — The video celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD) in Olds is now available online.
You can view it at www.NIPDOlds.com.
Each year, NIPD is celebrated on June 21. However, Due to pandemic restrictions, it could not be celebrated in person as it normally is, so the video was created, not only to be seen on June 21, but well afterward.
The idea is for it to be used as a teaching tool, not only for students and teachers but for the average Olds and area resident – or anyone else who’s interested in viewing it and learning about indigenous culture.
The Albertan took time to view the video on June 21.
It features an introduction by Olds Indigenous Connections Committee chair John Sinclair who serves as MC, as well as several other people including Mayor Michael Muzychka and a concluding statement by Rev. Tammy Allan of the Olds and Sundre United Churches.
"We wish to express our heartfelt congratulations and appreciation to the Olds Indigenous Connections National Indigenous People’s Day Planning Committee and The Mountain View Moccasin House Society in their efforts to coordinate this virtual event and allow us to be part of it,” Muzychka says in the video.
He also notes that “in appreciation of the valuable contributions that indigenous people have – and continue to make – to Canadian society and to mark and celebrate these contributions and recognize the different cultures of the indigenous people in Canada, including First Nations, Metis and Inuit people,” Olds town council named June 21 as National Indigenous Peoples Day in the community.
Region 3 Metis elder Doreen Bergum recites a traditional prayer and explains a bit about the Metis culture.
She says music played a big party in their culture. She also introduces a couple of youths who perform traditional Metis dances.
“After a hard work week, it was Metis tradition for families to gather. They would bring in food, fiddles, guitars, and even the spoons. Our kitchen party gatherings were very important for the Metis community and kinship,” Bergum says.
Many artifacts and clothes that are traditional in the Inuit way of life are also displayed.
The First Nations segment of the video features seven traditional dances.
Also during the video, Sinclair undertakes a traditional smudge ceremony and explains the meaning of it.
In her concluding address, Rev. Allan notes she recorded her message just days after it was revealed that the unmarked graves of about 215 children had been found near the Kamloops Residential School.
“For several decades, the denomination I serve has been seeking to walk with those who are hurting; to offer resources that foster healing and to work towards reconciliation. We still have work to do," Allan says.
“Today, I wear my orange shirt with its message that our children are our sacred bundles. And I recommit myself to the work of reconciliation and healing and hope,” she adds.