Saturday, July 15, 2006

National Aboriginal Day Celebrations – Vancouver, BC

June 21 - We went to the Vancouver Art Gallery to see Raven Travelling, a magnificent collection of two centuries of Haida art. (For anyone planning to be in the vicinity of Vancouver before the end of September, we highly recommend that you put it near the top of your must-see list.)

As we walked toward the Gallery, we saw tepees and a large stage being set up for the Vancouver Celebration of National Aboriginal Day.

First Nations officials at the opening ceremony:

A booth of aboriginal baskets from all over the world. I was pleased to see some very old baskets from the Tohono O'odham (Papago) Nation, the American Indian nation closest to where we live in Tucson.

We learned that there would be a repatriation ceremony for a Haisla First Nation totem pole. The pole was lying carefully protected on the north steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery. I was able to take photos of the pole and of a gentleman I later learned was the head of the totem pole committee. (I'll be posting these photos tomorrow.)

June 23 - We returned to the celebrations. We ate bannock bread and visited the tepees, which were full of excellent contemporary art.

Asani, a contemporary a cappella Aboriginal women's trio. Asani sings mostly original songs written in Cree and English based on traditional First Nations and Metis music.

A children’s group.

We were very pleased that we chanced on this wonderful event and were able to visit it twice.


TDharma said...

What a great celebration, and what luck to be there for it! I've been to a few pow-wows in Central California and have enjoyed them very much.

Pam in Tucson said...

tdharma - We've enjoyed several pow-wows in Arizona and NM over the years. We also enjoy the dances at the Rio Grande and Hopi pueblos - lots of clowning, but also huge respect for mother earth. Which tribes hold pow-wows in Central CA?

LauraHinNJ said...

Wish there were something like this in my part of the country - looks like a lot of fun.

Pam in Tucson said...

laura - Check the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Indians of New Jersey. They have an annual pow-wow.

LauraHinNJ said...

Thanks for sending along the links, Pam. One of the two seems within a reasonable distance to travel - feel foolish that I didn't know such events were held here! I'll follow-up if I make it to the September pow-wow.