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University of Lethbridge kicks off virtual Indigenous Awareness Week

Indigenous Awareness Week at the University of Lethbridge is taking place March 1-5, 2021. Courtesy: University of Lethbridge

Each year, the University of Lethbridge hosts a variety of events to celebrate its Indigenous Awareness Week.

The goal is to celebrate Indigenous people’s culture and heritage, while acknowledging past and present students.

Charlene Bruised Head-Mountain Horse, an Indigenous student adviser at the U of L, says there are currently around 500 Indigenous students of various backgrounds studying at the university.

Click to play video: 'Drive-thru REDress event held in honour of missing and murdered Blood Tribe members'
Drive-thru REDress event held in honour of missing and murdered Blood Tribe members

“Each year, we like to ensure that we’re paying recognition to our students,” she said.

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Typically, a week full of dancing, food, guest speakers and other in-person activities would take place on campus.

“Unfortunately, you know, it would be better to see everybody in-person,” Bruised Head-Mountain Horse said.

“As long as people are willing to join us virtually, we’re happy to host and acknowledge whoever comes in.”

To kick off those virtual events, an opening ceremony hosted around 70 attendees Friday morning, followed by a buffalo-painting tutorial hosted by students in the afternoon.

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Bruised Head-Mountain Horse says there are some benefits to hosting virtual events, such as the ability to reach more people from outside the U of L community.

“Virtually, we had presentations from some of our keynote speakers who are in Calgary joining us, so you see the versatility of the Zoom world now,” she said.

Free events such as alumni roundtable discussions, film screenings and educational presentations, will continue until March 5.

“It’s important that we continue to share the information, share the culture,” Bruised Head-Mountain Horse said.

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