Trellis chips in to support local powwow

·2 min read

The Trellis Society was proud to play a role in hosting a powwow at the Strathmore Curling Centre on June 11, which saw hundreds of people in attendance.

Jeff Dyer, CEO of the Trellis Society, said the powwow was a celebration of community that the organization was excited to get behind, and that it fits perfectly with their local mission.

“A couple of years ago, Trellis was given some funding to support relationships and reconciliation here in the community,” said Dyer. “We run a family resource network to support Strathmore and we were given some funds to see if we could strengthen the relationship between Strathmore and Siksika Nation. Today is a celebration, or culmination of that.”

Dyer added the powwow on June 11 was the first occasion which was hosted in such a fashion, and it’s something he wants to see continue to be supported year after year.

The funding pool they received is perfectly suited to being used to aid in the development and support of positive relationships between Siksika Nation and Strathmore.

“We didn’t want to receive it ourselves, so we thought ‘let’s get behind a cool community event,’ and a powwow seemed like the perfect fit,” said Dyer. “If we think about the Indigenous community, the thing that they have taught me and taught us it how to build relations. A powwow is a 12-hour period where you build relationships at a level that you couldn’t have done if you were independent.”

A powwow is, simply put, a sacred social gathering held by many Indigenous communities. Modern powwows see First Nations peoples meet to dance, sing, socialize and honour their cultures.

Saturday’s event consisted of a grand entry parade, addresses from various local dignitaries, dancing and opportunities for people to share meals together around a tipi.

Dyer added the whole idea of Trellis and their participation in such an event is to support people and communities to reach their full potential.

“The work of reconciliation is going to be generations long. A highlight for me today is that I get to be a part of this community, not seen as a distant friend, but as a true partner walking in with the grand entry. I think that signals Trellis has earned its way into the community, but we’re just getting started and we have a long ways to go,” said Dyer, who intends to host and support similar events on an annual basis, and continue supporting Indigenous relationships within the community.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times

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