Centennial Park will be full of colour and culture during National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21.
A partnership of several organizations in Ponoka have come together to host a mini pow wow in the park from 10 a.m. to noon.
This is the second year of the mini pow wow, which comes with direct work from Ponoka Parent Link Centre (PLC) and the Ponoka Jubilee Library (PJL) — with support from Parkland Regional Library (PRL).
For Andrea Ramage, PLC coordinator, the hope is that the mini pow wow will give First Nations people in the area a chance to showcase their culture but also to see Ponoka residents come out and take part in that culture.
“I hope that events like this benefit the community in two ways: to help Indigenous people feel like their culture is embraced and respected,” said Ramage. “While simultaneously giving non-Indigenous people the opportunity to learn about, experience, and celebrate the Indigenous culture that exists all around us.”
Dan Galway, PJL manager, said funds to make this event possible come from grants by the Canadian Heritage Fund and PRL. He said there will be tipis on display, plus two drum groups and a number of Indigenous dancers will be in attendance.
“We’ll also have graffiti artist, Christopher “Day One” Carlson, doing a live painting demonstration,” said Galway.
For Galway, PJL being able to showcase the culture of Ponoka’s Indigenous residents is important as the community is on Treaty land.
One other addition this year will have staff bring out the library’s entire Indigenous story collection for circulation, plus people will be able to sign up for memberships.
Other groups involved in organizing the mini pow wow are the Ponoka ECD (Early Childhood Development) Coalition, and through consultation with Wolf Creek Public Schools, and Montana First Nations.
Ponoka News editor Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye is the chairperson for the Ponoka Jubilee Library board of directors.