The 7th annual Grande Prairie Round Dance will celebrate the Cree phrase “wakotowin”, which loosely translates into “we are all connected.”
The Indigenous ceremony is meant to bring the community as a whole together to celebrate with a pipe ceremony, feast, and round dance, as a way to allow everyone to support each other physically, emotionally and spiritually.
A Round Dance is a healing ceremony that has evolved into social dance for Indigenous people and is traditionally held in the winter.
Chairperson for the Grande Prairie Aboriginal Circle of Services Korie-Lyn Northey says, in addition to the round dance, there will also be a giveaway for participants.
“We make sure people are given gifts they can take home with them, so we sort of share the wealth in the community and make sure people are taken care of.”
Northey says it’s not just an event for the Indigenous community, as she hopes the ceremony will bring people from all sorts of different cultures together, not only for education purposes, but to be part of, and create a greater sense of community.
“It’s a wonderful way to learn more about Indigenous culture. It’s fun, and we sit and visit and there is a lot of opportunities to connect, talk, visit and get to know each other.”
The round dance is set for February 1st at 4:30 p.m. at St. John Paul II school. Northey adds any women who wish to take part are asked to wear long skirts as part of the pipe ceremony.