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Rich cross-cultural pow-wow delights residents

June 24th, 2019

Points West Living Heritage House in Vegreville recently opened its doors to welcome the public to a free-admission pow-wow hosted by indigenous dancers from Saddle Lake Alberta. Dancers and drummers stirred the audience with their skill and energy, and by the end of the performance, residents and guests were up on their feet, taking part in a circle dance.

Barbeque fundraiser

The June 3rd event started off with a barbeque fundraiser for youth groups at Eagle’s Healing Lodge in the Saddle Lake Cree Nation about 80 kilometres north of Vegreville. The healing lodge delivers wellness programs and support for all ages, including youth dance and drumming groups.

Dance, costumes, and drumming

Darcy McGilvery, Chief of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation, welcomed everyone to the pow-wow, and explained the history and symbolism of dances, costumes, and drumming they were about to see and hear.

Culture, spirit, and healing

“It was really a good event and the residents thoroughly enjoyed the whole performance,” says recreation coordinator James Barleta, adding that the residents also enjoyed shaking hands and meeting with the dancers. “Chief Darcy McGilvery came into this wanting to share his people’s culture, spirit and healing with our community,” says James. And by the end of the event, “He felt a real reconciliation for the people in Heritage Heights who were able to join in song and dance. It was really a good presentation.”

Heritage Heights tours

About 150 members of the public took part and many of them took time to tour Heritage Heights, the new Independent Supportive Living residence that now part of the Heritage House community.

Photo: Dancers from Saddle Lake Cree Nation take time to meet with each guest and resident following their pow-wow performance at PWL Heritage House in Vegreville.

More photos at Flickr: Rich cross-cultural pow-wow delights residents

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