by Deena Goodrunning, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
(ANNews) – On September 25, 2022 a beautiful event took place at Amiskwacîwâskahikan, the Turtle Island city colonially known as Edmonton, Alberta. That event was Giving Back To The Streets 5, hosted by the Indigenous owned business Tee Pee Treats Indigenous Cuisine. Tee Pee Treats is partnered with the Quarter Arts Society and CO*LAB and the event took place at the CO*LAB building in Edmonton.
In a previous interview with ANNews, owner of Tee Pee Treats Indigenous Cuisine Curtis Cardinal mentioned that he’d been planning this event for two years. It was supposed to happen in 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic the event wasn’t possible until this year.
At the Giving Back To The Streets 5 event, hundreds of members of the inner-city community of Edmonton and those from other parts of Edmonton and Turtle Island gathered to enjoy Indigenous cuisine such as bannock burgers and soup cooked and provided by Tee Pee Treats, as well as drinks and water, and live entertainment.
The live entertainment included amazing deejaying conducted by DJ Krayzkree aka Dallas Arcand. There were also performances by multiple Indigenous artists and performers and drummers. The drumming group Chubby Cree drummed at the event. There was also rapping and singing performed by the Indigenous hip-hop duo LightningCloud, a duo that consists of artists MC Redcloud and Crystle Lightning. Some other artists who also performed were Curt Young, Melody McArthur and Tzadeka. These artists generously donated their time to come out and perform at the event.
Everyone in the community was welcome to attend the event, regardless of factors such as race or socioeconomic status. And everything about the event — from the delicious food to the stunning performances to the cans of Pepsi and bottles of water — was all completely free. Tee Pee Treats also arranged clothing donations for the community at the event and invited anyone who needed clothes to help themselves to the donations and take what they needed. The volunteers and workers at the event were kind and welcoming to everyone who attended and feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive.
One attendee told ANNews that he liked how everyone who attended the event was welcomed without judgement. Regardless of how someone looked or how they were dressed, they were all welcomed equally to the event. He said everyone was really kind and welcoming.
Another attendee said everything about the event was great. “The food was great, it filled up your stomach. The entertainment was also really good. Everything was great. It was a great event.”
The event was made possible by the sponsorship of another Indigenous owned business Astum Auto Loans and through multiple donations and volunteers from the community.
On the official website for Tee Pee Treats Indigenous Cuisine, a line was written in regards to the event: “For the love of our inner-city community, we must take care of one another.”
And that’s exactly what the event was about. Love and taking care of others. Tee Pee Treats Indigenous Cuisine provided physical nourishment for members of the inner-city community through the food they generously cooked and served, but they also provided spiritual nourishment through the love and care they showed to everyone at the event. Giving Back To The Streets 5 was a truly beautiful and memorable event where medicinal kindness and love for the community and from the community flowed generously.
The next version of this event, Giving Back To The Streets 6, is expected to take place in December 2022.