West indian people

The Friendship Center continues celebrations of Indigenous Peoples Day

In addition to child-friendly activities, prayers, live music and dancing took place before supper, with words from elders, Friendship Center staff and North Battleford Mayor David Gillan. Gervais said it is meaningful for the community to recognize its culture and heritage each year.

“Celebrating Aboriginal Day and making sure everyone has fun and comes together, dancers,” she said. “All that stuff is cool.”

Jackie Kennedy, executive director of the Friendship Center, said they wanted to move the powwow event away from the WDM museum to have a space for families to experience both, adding that it is meaningful to welcome many large groups at the Center.

“We’re a gathering place for everyone, so it’s important to have events here,” she said.

Kennedy was pleased with the attendance, which exceeded 250 people. It’s one of the first gatherings held at the Center since the lifting of pandemic restrictions, which Kennedy said has coincided with a change in atmosphere, as well as the number of people they can accommodate in one space.

“We are happy that people can come together now and Elders can sit together,” she said. “It’s a good feeling. Many of them have been isolated for a long time.

She noted that it is also encouraging to see several non-Aboriginal families present. In recent years, Kennedy said the variety of people they interact with has changed, with people more willing to access their services.

“We deal with everyone, people of different colors and backgrounds,” she said. “People come and we meet them. We have an open door policy and we don’t see the color.

Information about Friendship Center events and services is available online.

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