Celebration and Reconcili-Action in Our Community
Last month, a member of this drop-in community named Dwayne came to us with an idea. Dwayne is a Pow Wow dancer, and he told us that he knows lots of Pow Wow dancers and drummers, and he wondered if St. Matthews Maryland would consider hosting a Pow Wow demonstration and feast. He and his friend Melvin would find the dancers and drummers if we took care of the food. We thought it sounded like tons of fun, so we told him we’d do it!
We invited everyone from the community, and all our supporters; thinking that this event would be a great way to bring people together. When the big night came, Friday April 5, we had 12 dancers, 5 drummers, and 70 guests in attendance! The dancers were all in full regalia, quite a sight to behold!
Between each dance, Melvin explained the importance of the dance we were about to see; because each dance has history and meaning.
After close to 90 minutes of dancing, drumming, and singing; we were all invited to get up and join the final dance. It was truly a beautiful sight when every single person in the room accepted that invitation and joined together in dance; Indigenous, settler, and newcomer Canadians; some who had been to 50 Pow Wows and some enjoying their first ever; people from different parts of the city; people who had a comfortable, safe home to return to after the event, and people who did not; and through it all a little 2 year-old child, oblivious to all of that, who was just really enjoying the dancing and music! After the dancing was done, this diverse group of people sat down and enjoyed a delicious feast together.
Events like this are just one of the ways that 1JustCIty is Working Towards Reconciliation, one of the 4 pillars of our work. Reconciliation can sometimes seem like a big and scary concept. How can we even begin to approach it? But this event, hosted in full and equal partnership with Indigenous members of this community, brought a diverse group of people together to celebrate Indigenous culture. People learned, they made new friends, and they had fun! What could this be but reconciliation in action?
When you support 1JustCity, you are helping to create opportunities to bring people together and change our city for the better. We’re already planning to host another event like this, and hopefully next time you can join us!
All photos by Allan McKay