Three-day event immerses people in Indigenous culture
- EFN Staff | August 16, 2019
In its third year of hosting cultural days, Wanuskewin Heritage Park drew a large crowd. Wanuskewin’s Cultural Days is a three-day immersion in First Nations and Metis culture, which kicked off on August 12-14th. Close to 400 people attended the first day and almost 600 people on the second day.
“I was pretty surprised because we moved from the powwow to cultural week instead, the numbers aren’t as big if we had a powwow but our numbers were actually better than I had expected,” said Chris Standing, Wanuskewin’s Visitors Service Manager, who was also the main organizer cultural days event.
Wanuskewin’s Cultural Days activities consisted of food demonstrations, hide-scraping, arrowhead making, bannock bake, horse wagon rides, traditional games, smoking bison, flint knapping workshops, cattail dolls, fiddle music, dancing performances, and added an entertainment portion to the free event.
Standing said the Emery Burningrass performance and the Constant Reminder band were the main attractions for this year’s cultural days.
“Emery Burningrass Constant Reminder have big social media followers and that helped our numbers and helped put our name out there in First Nations country,” he said.
Standing said hosting and organizing this annual event is to help promote Indigenous culture.
“To educate our people that our culture isn’t in the past, it’s things we still do now,” Standing said. “We perform, tell our stories, how to communicate through comedy, live bands, and all different kinds of art forms.”
Wanuskewin’s Cultural Days was an experience from visitors and even their own staff to learn more about Indigenous culture.
“I think more people are aware of the depth of our culture and even for our staff, guides and summer students, they got to experience some of the teachings from the elders and presenters that came in and have a better scope of our culture and history,” he said.
The Wanuskewin Cultural Days ended with a feast and giveaway on the final day of the event. Nutrien partnered with Wanuskewin to bring in elders, presenters, experts and entertainers for this event.