REGINA – Most eyes are on the sports, but celebrating and exploring the many different cultures being represented at the North American Indigenous Games is another focus.
“There’s a little bit of something for everybody here,” said Maxton Priebe, coordinator at the NAIG’s Cultural Village.
The village, located on the field directly south of the First Nations University of Canada, is home to 28 artisans and 18 workshops.
The workshops, held in and just outside of tipis, include activities and demonstrations. They feature instructors and representatives from the North West Territories, California, among other places.
“Follow me and I’ll show you. You just back in like this,” said Jacque Tahuka-Nunez as she walked backwards, out of respect, into her tipi.
Tahuka-Nunez said the village is about more than just exploring cultures; it’s a way to change public’s mindset.
“They think we all live in tipis, and that we’re all the same and our languages are all the same. But, as a matter of fact, I think of all the cultures in the world, we are the most diverse,” she said.
“I think that’s the beauty; to celebrate everything about everyone, including the visitors that come, because, when they come in here, I want them to know that their families are worthy to be celebrated, too.”
Hundreds of people visited the village throughout Tuesday, including Ireland expat Dale McDonald.
“We never really knew much about the history of Canada, and where it all began, so this is fabulous for us to find out and know,” said McDonald, who brought along her daughter.
Ali Gallant, 14, is playing softball at the NAIG. She said she enjoyed learning some new things at the village, as well.
“It’s definitely bringing First Nations together. It’s pretty cool to embrace our heritage,” said the Sooke, B.C athlete.
The village is open between 11 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. until July 26.