#Canada, #IndigenousCulture Toronto, #Powwow, #Carolyn Bennett
Toronto, Mar 15 (Canadian-Media): Indigenous Studies Student Union (ISSU) at the University of Toronto (U of T) organized a free event on March 11 featuring dances, songs, food, and workshops, media reports said.
This event celebrated accomplishments of past and present indigenous students with the motive to promote Indigenous traditions among students of U of T.
In the early 90s Eileen Antone, an indigenous person had come to the UT and could find only one other Indigenous student.
"My mantra became, 'Where are the aboriginal students? Where are the aboriginal faculty? Where are the aboriginal staff?", Antone was quoted as saying by CBCNews reports said.
She worked hard for years to see the growth of Indigenous community at the university and was responsible for the first 500 persons in the school gymnasium on Saturday, said Antone.
Julie Blair, the finance coordinator of U of T said the powwow celebration was a good way for everyone to come together to share indigenous culture.
A post ISSU - U of T read, “ISSU will be forever grateful to everyone who helped make this event happen. We are all still in awe from yesterday. We'll see everyone next year! #HOSPW2017 #IndigenizeURCampus.”
One of Blair’s post in her Facebook read: “What a great day! I kept looking around in awe at what we accomplished by working together in a good way. Thanks to everyone who came out to the Honouring our Students Pow Wow and Indigenous Festival at U of T! Indigenous Studies Students' Union”
After the release of the 2014 federal Truth and Reconciliation Report (TRC), the U of T released its own report in January to recommend spaces to be allotted for Indigenous population and increase employment among these..
TRC report had made U of T Campus more aware about Indigenous issues, said Blair.
Indigenous Affairs Minister and a U of T alumna, Carolyn Bennett was also present at the powwow and said, "We never had anything that really taught us about, not only this history of Indigenous people in our country, but the presence of Indigenous people right now," CBCNews reports said.
Bennett stressed that while personal cultural identity was a prerequisite for Indigenous students to succeed, non-Indigenous people should recognize and learn about the indigenous culture in Toronto.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Image of Indigenous people in Canada: Wikipedia