Indigenous culture was celebrated today at the inaugural Mawio'mi Indigenous Gathering as part of Saint Mary’s University’s Winter Welcome.
“This is just the first of a series of cultural events that we hope to have here on campus” says Elora Gehue, Co-President of the Saint Mary’s Indigenous Students Society. “We had a really good turnout and I think that this event will serve as a great foundation for the future.”
The event was organized by the Saint Mary’s Indigenous Students Society Co-Presidents Elora Gehue and Boyce Campbell and Student Services Senior Director Tom Brophy. The event featured well-known drumming group Eastern Eagle, a fancy shawl dancer, a jingle dress dancer, a traditional basket weaver and more. Attendees were also treated to the traditional Mawio’mi dish, fry bread tacos, which was very well received.
When asked to describe the event, Tom Brophy, Senior Director of Student Services, said the event represented a humble beginning from which he believes many good things will come and he looks forward to continuing to work with the Indigenous Students Society in the future.
Notable Indigenous speakers included Captain Don Julien, Elder Billy Lewis and Sandra Racine, a traditional Mi’kmaq basket weaver. Saint Mary’s President Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray was also in attendance and participated in the smudging ceremony and later presented Elder Lewis with an offering of tobacco. Ossama Nasarallah, Vice-President of Student Affairs, was also present and provided a welcome on behalf of the Saint Mary's University Students' Association.
As the event came to a close, an elder prayer was led by Elder Lewis and the Eastern Eagle drumming group finished the event with the Mi’kmaw Honour Song.