Last month was the graduation powwow at U of S. One of the great things about the University is the profile and centrality of first nations culture and events on campus. We have an elder-in-residence program, a lively aboriginal student association, plans for a brand-new aboriginal student centre, and a University-wide aboriginal heritage registry to recognize and create visibility for first nation folks on-campus. (Although my cousins and niece feel cool with it, I haven’t used the latter since I feel uncomfortable with this turning into an Elizabeth Warren situation.)
This event was a multi-sensory experience: great drumming, awesome dancing, and beautiful regalia. However, AV recording was prohibited. Although I was tempted to take some photos, I elected not to given the long history of appropriation, cultural colonization, and profiting off images of first nations people by folks who look like me. It was enough to be there on the day and soak it up the old-fashioned way. I did take a few photos of the grounds to give the idea of the scope of the event, and I heartily recommend the event to anyone who gets the chance to go.