To celebrate National Indigenous People’s Day, the Strathmore Municipal Library partnered with the Trellis Society to host an event geared towards introducing youth to Indigenous culture.
Called Circle Time Celebration, Trellis’ Natasha Kavanah said the event was geared towards creating an easy and friendly way to be introduced to Indigenous cultures and ideas.
“We took some early childhood books — so our seven sacred teachings, we have these beautiful books written by Achilles Gentle and illustrated by Natalie Thiessen, and they are a really fun way to introduce younger kids to the seven sacred teachings,” explained Kavanah. “It goes through each of the totem animals and their lesson and tells a story.”
Kavanah explained that Trellis partners with the library, as well as a number of community organizations, to spread the word and create a cohesive message of support for reconciliation efforts.
The celebration at the library was one of a number of events supported locally by Trellis throughout the month of June, being National Indigenous History Month.
“The library is a lovely space to reach people authentically so (people) don’t necessarily have to be registered or know that it was happening. There’s a bit more foot traffic at the library sometimes for that kind of authentic connection to happen,” said Kavanah. “I don’t think people have realized yet that we’re back … so (we’ve) been trying to get the word out through this kind of programming that we are here and offering these kinds of things for all ages.”
Events such as a paint night, a powwow and a Blackfoot medicine session, among others, have been supported if not hosted by Trellis throughout June to spread awareness and support for the cause.
“It really is our commitment to reconciliation to be educating and to be educated ourselves and always learning and providing these opportunities,” said Kavanah.
Though attendance at the celebration was not what Trellis, nor the library was hoping to have seen, there continues to be a surplus of events hosting locally which residents are encouraged to seek out and attend.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times