(ANNews) – A 10-day traditional powwow celebration has successfully become part of K-Days 2016 in Edmonton – running from July 22-31, 2016. A recently announced partnership between Northlands and the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation (ANSN) has reached fruition and the creators of the partnership are equally delighted with the result of the joint initiative that has brought the first-ever 10-day powwow to Edmonton’s annual K-Days celebration.
“I am very pleased to join with you today to celebrate this important occasion,” noted Northlands President and CEO Tim Reid as he addressed the growing crowd that gathered to watch the dancers and listen to the beats of the various drum groups who participated in the first day of the event.”
Reid commented on the colourful regalia and the sound of the drums, he praised the volunteers who helped organize and set up the powwow arena and he talked about the future, one that he noted will continue to include both Treaty 6 and Treaty 8 First Nations. He lauded the partnership with the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation and its leader, Chief Tony Alexis and he thanked those who’d gathered to watch the first powwow event take place.
“It is our strong belief that this is a celebration for all peoples and it has been our honour to work closely with leaders in the Indigenous community. It is our belief that visitors to K-Days will embrace the event, as you are doing today, and in doing so, gain a deeper appreciation of the culture and the significance of our Indigenous friends. K-Days allows us the opportunity to share with today’s young people the privilege and honour of witnessing a cultural experience the generation before us didn’t have the chance to do.”
“I am very pleased to see that so many people have joined with us today to share our culture and traditions,” remarked Chief Alexis, who said he was not surprised to see that most of those in the crowd were non-Aboriginal spectators. “Many initiatives are currently underway across Canada to provide reconciliation opportunities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people; the addition of a traditional powwow to the K-Days events and activities is yet another way in which we can highlight our rich and unique heritage.”
AFN Regional Chief Craig Makinaw, MLA Lorne Dach, Northlands Board Chair Jeff Oberg and ANSN Chief Tony Alexis were among those called to the podium to offer comments and words of welcome by Opening Day Emcee Eugene Alexis.
K-Days, an annual 10-day exhibition, which takes place at Northlands this year from July 22-31, attracts between 700 and 800 thousand people each year and is considered one of the most popular annual attractions in Canada.
Enjoy our photo gallery by photo-journalist John Copley and see our full story in the August issue of Alberta Native News.