On June 21st, the ROM Learning Department began National Aboriginal Day celebrations with Sweet Grass cleanse to start the day off in a good, positive way led by Justin Chiblow, Kiowa Wind Memorial Indigenous Youth Intern. Dr. Bob Phillips, Mi`Kmaq Elder, led an opening prayer for registered school groups, and J`net Ay Ay Qwa Yak Sheelth, Indigenous Outreach and Learning Coordinator, oriented groups to the theme for the day, Reconciliation through Participation, and four workshops they would be rotating through.
Throughout the day, students heard amazing stories from storytellers Louise Profeit-Leblanc and Jim Adams AKA Many Hats, danced to songs led by the talented contemporary dancers Santee Smith and Jesse Dell from Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, learned traditional Métis games with the amazing facilitators from the Métis Nation of Ontario, and made appliqué flags in a hands-on craft workshop in the ROM Makespace led by artists from Red Pepper Spectacle Arts.
The workshops encouraged student participation and taught them Indigenous teachings. The event was a complete success as the teachers and students left in a good, positive way.
Thank you to the Slaight Family Foundation for their generous support, and to all the Indigenous elders and knowledge carriers who shared their time, energy, and knowledge.
Miigwetch (Thank you) to everyone who helped make this day successful!