Dancers to highlight National Aboriginal Day in Comox Valley

Performances by the Kumugwe Dancers and the Tzinquaw Dancers highlight the Comox Valley celebration Thursday of National Aboriginal Day.

Performances by the local Kumugwe Dancers and the Tzinquaw Dancers, who are Coast Salish, will highlight the Comox Valley celebration Thursday of National Aboriginal Day.

Activities happen from 3 to 7 p.m. at the K’ómoks land on Comox (Dyke) Road between Courtenay and Comox.

The Kumugwe Dancers have been performing together since 2001. Since that time, they have endeavored to show pride in where they come from through the presentation of traditional songs and dances.

The Kumugwe Cultural Society was formed in 2007 with a mandate to preserve, promote and advocate for cultural activities of the K’ómoks people. The society conducts activities that encourage, develop and promote volunteerism for and among the K’ómoks people and to recognize, support and provide cultural opportunities for the K’ómoks people.

The Kwowutzun Tzinquwa Dance Group started in the early 1960s.

They have danced on Vancouver Island as well as in Vancouver, Chilliwack and Kamloops. They performed at the Calgary Stampede twice in addition to appearances in Ottawa, Bellingham, Seattle, northern California, New Mexico, Colombia and Singapore.

They are starting their fourth generation of singers and dancers.

As well on Thursday, elder James Quatell will teach in the K’ómoks Big House. What you do is pick a bead for each strength you need to work on, put it in a cloth, wrap it in red wool and carry it with you or place in a safe space.

A table will be set up in the I-Hos Gallery until June 21 for you to create your bundle. The elder will do a prayer for everyone and your bundle of cloth and beads in the Big House on Thursday to give you the power and strength you are looking for.

Beads and cloth can be purchased at I-Hos for a recommended minimum donation of $2.50.

Joanne Restoule and Susan Camp will be in the Big House discussing the Seven Sacred Teachings that have been handed down through the generations.

The practice of spiritual self-care through smudging is one of the gifts native people have been given. You are invited to join them as they bring the Seven Sacred Teachings to life and demonstrate ways to connect that are rooted in their ancestry.

Entrance to the Big House is by a donation recommended up to $20.

Artisan tents will be set up around the I-Hos Gallery and the Wachiay Friendship Centre elders will have a table full of baked goods and crafts made by elders.

National Aboriginal Day would not be complete without traditional native food — a sockeye dinner and candied salmon will be available for purchase. Métis people are preparing barbecued buffalo burgers and Verna will sell her famous bannock that she ran out of last year.

The Métis have been woven together from a variety of cultures, traditions and beliefs — English, French, Scots, Cree and Ojibwa to name a few. The Métis are a people and culture resulting from the union of European and First Nations people.

The Métis speak a variety of languages; English, Canadian French, Michif French, Cree, Michif Cree and Mashkegon as well as others.

On display in the Métis area will be traditional Métis winterwear, dyed porcupine quill purses, a swan’s foot purse and more. A tent will be set up for Cree elder Phil Umpherville to tell stories to children of all ages.

— K’ómoks First Nation


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