I am writing this on June 21st, the summer solstice. It is also National Indigenous Peoples Day, and special events have been happening all across Canada, recognizing the rich and varied traditions and cultures of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.
In last week’s post, I mentioned the exhibit at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (AGGV), entitled Adorned. Today, I was delighted to read artist Dana Claxton’s Tweets, taking over the @artgalleryvic site for the day, showcasing her colourful creations!
Royal Roads University (RRU) in Colwood, was the site of a day-long list of activities for families, opened by a traditional canoe landing and welcoming ceremony on the shore of the Esquimalt Lagoon led by Lekwungen (Songhees) Nation Elder Butch Dick and Elder Elmer George. The list of partners included Indigenous and Métis organizations, and also educational institutions like the School Board. Hopefully, this means that Reconciliation and learning respect for, and about, different Indigenous cultures has been integrated into school curricula, starting in elementary school.
The website also lists activities and events during the whole month.
Royal Roads NIPD and Month
I was really touched by this story about Max Hiroshi Yamane, a young American Japanese man whose genuine interest in, and respect for, Native American culture, music, and language enabled him to build trusting and lasting relationships with elders and communities.
He learned to speak the Kiowa language, he competes in fancy dance competitions at powwows, and he drums, sings and composes songs in the languages of different tribes he has performed with. He works to gain grant funding for Native American community projects. He has been honoured with his own song, which incorporates Japanese words, a tribute to his paternal ancestors.
Max Yamane embodies the power of a single person to make a difference.
Max’s story in the Smithsonian Magazine