February proclaimed Aboriginal Storytelling Month

By Jessica Dempsey

January 31, 2018 12:59 PM

The City of Lloydminster has proclaimed February as Aboriginal Storytelling Month, with many activities happening across the city. JESSICA DEMPSEY LLS PHOTO

The City of Lloydminster has proclaimed February as Aboriginal Storytelling Month.
At Monday’s city council meeting, Mayor Gerald Aalbers proclaimed the month, noting it was a very important thing to do.
Before the proclamation, Aalbers took part in a smudging ceremony, which was conducted by an elder from Onion Lake Cree Nation.
“It’s incredible, the relationship,” he said about the importance of the proclamation, as he recognized they were on Treaty 6 territory.
“There is a unique opportunity, and I think it’s a great opportunity to be involved and the proclamation just helped to bring it together today.”
He added that the city has many relationships with First Nations, so this was another part to share their relationship.
The emphasis on storytelling, Aalbers said was vital to history.
“It’s very important because a lot of the history of the Indigenous people is shared by storytelling, as I have learned, and I think that’s very critical to this whole picture,” said Aalbers.
There will be many activities throughout the month for residents to take part in. Feb 13 will be a Blanket Exercise hosted by the Lloydminster Public School Division at Grace United Church from 6:30-9 p.m., to register email denae.bruce@lpsd.ca.
There will also be a documentary screening at College Park School from 7-9 p.m. on Feb. 27.
Throughout the month there is the “Tell our Stories Campaign,” where people are encouraged to decorate an image of a feather any way that they wish. The feather will become part of a large piece of artwork that will be unveiled at the Feb. 27 documentary.
The decorated feather needs to be dropped off at the LPSD office with attention Shirley Groat.
For more information or to receive a template of the feather, email shirley.groat@lpsd.ca.
“I think it’s an opportunity to become more informed of what’s been going on in the past,” said Aalbers. “Certainly from the Aboriginal perspective as well as a colonization aspect, I think that’s important, and some of the factors that have been involved.”
Aalbers attended a blanket ceremony last year, and he said it was well worth it.
“It certainly provided a real history lesson in one short evening from their perspective, the First Nations people, so I think it’s so important they have that opportunity to see, the students have been engaged in it and both public and Catholic schools,” he said, adding he encourages everyone to take the opportunity to participate in the events.

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