Redwood Meadows Aboriginal Day

Posted by martin parnell |

Sue and I love going to community events in Cochrane and area. Some of the highlights are Footstock, Canada Day festivities at Mitford Park, the Labour Day parade and the Outhouse races in late September. Slightly further afield, is the Redwood Meadows Aboriginal Day, which took place, this year on June 21st.

Although activities didn’t start until 11.00am, we arrived 9.30am, as I wanted to get in my daily walk, beforehand. Redwood Meadows is a beautiful community. We started from Redwood House, headed north east along Many Horses Drive until we crossed on to Redwood Berm Trail. This pathway follows the Elbow River back into the community and ends at the Redwood Meadows Golf and Country Club. By the time we had arrived back to the start we had covered 6.5 kms and volunteers were setting up for all the activities that were due to take place, both indoors and out.

Seminars were schedule for the afternoon in native culture, medicinal knowledge and a dream catcher workshop for children. After enjoying a cup of coffee, we made our way out to the field. The Mayor of Redwood Meadows, Liz Erasmus said a few words, and members of the Tsuu T’ina nation opened Aboriginal Day with a traditional dance. They were accompanied by a group of drummers who also performed a song in honour of Fathers, it being Father’s day. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the performances and seeing the beautiful traditional dress.

Some people then headed into Redwood house but Sue and I headed into the vendors tent. There we met Kalum Teke Dan, an artist whose work is very powerful. He lives in Calgary, but originates from the Blood Tribe in Southern Alberta. He was first inspired to create art from his grandparents, who were known internationally for their bead work and traditional regalia. Mostly self-taught, and dealing in both oil, acrylic and watercolour, Kalum has become known for his strong portraiture and his stunning wildlife depictions.

He told us that he knew that this is what he had always wanted to do. As a kid he would knock on doors trying to sell his pictures. Many times he had no for an answer but he never gave up. In the fall he’s heading over to Prague for an exhibition and a book signing. You may have the opportunity to see Kalum’s work at one of the Pow Wows taking place this summer.

On the way home Sue and I chatted about how lucky we were to be able to spend a day experiencing another culture. Sometimes you have to travel thousands of miles to do that, but for us it was only 30 kms down the road, at Redwood Meadows Aboriginal Day.

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