Loyalist college hosts events leading up to Truth & Reconciliation Day

Click to play video: 'Loyalist College aims to educate students with Indigenous demonstrations during Truth & Reconciliation Week'
Loyalist College aims to educate students with Indigenous demonstrations during Truth & Reconciliation Week
WATCH: Indigenous cultural demonstrations at Loyalist College included a round dance and drumming performances – Sep 27, 2022

Indigenous drumming and dancing took place in the cafeteria at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ont., Tuesday afternoon.

The dance is called a round dance from the Plains Nations and was performed by the Haudenosaune as a demonstration of unity.

“We dance in one direction to celebrate life and all of creation, then we go counter-clockwise,” explained Jennifer Maracle, director of Indigenous Services at Loyalist College. “When we go clockwise, we’re dancing for all of those who left before us. This is a really good dance to be doing during Truth and Reconciliation Week, as we remember everyone who has been lost as a result of colonization.”

Kai Auton, one of the dancers, says colonization has had a devastating impact on Indigenous culture and caused rifts in tradition even among members of the same nation.

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Some of the work being done in Indigenous circles is rediscovering those traditions. “We are trying to connect with other communities to try and build back what we had lost during the act of colonization and residential schools,” said Auten.

Maracle says relations between Indigenous people and settlers are improving but more work needs to be done.

“I think things are changing in public education. I’m hopeful that it continues to go that way, but the truth has to be told,” said Maracle. “Part of the calls to action, and even in the name itself, truth and reconciliation, is the truth has to be known in order for true reconciliation to begin.”

A series of events and ceremonies are planned at the college throughout the week culminating with a college-wide ceremony on Friday. All students are invited to attend and are encouraged to wear orange shirts to show solidarity with Indigenous students and communities.


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