For a few hours on Feb. 18, the Sky Centre became a Lodge of healing, understanding and acceptance as the Living Sky Casino hosted its first Round Dance – a time to set aside cultural differences, remember those who have passed on, share experiences, and seek a positive direction for the next generation.
First Nations people welcomed many other cultures to this traditional mid-winter feast, which begins with a sacred pipe ceremony, purification with sweet grass, prayers of intercession in all four directions, and thanks to the Creator, followed by a blessing of the food and then the meal served by the men and boys.
The Round Dance featured drummers and singers from across the region who shared songs that date back 400 years as well as some that were contemporary. The first dance begins with the unifying drumbeat of a mother’s heart, something all people remember from their first nine months prior to birth.
“While the Elders lift up the pipe, while they pray, they pray for you, each and every one of you. Just remember, the greatest gift of all. Please have them near you during the pipe ceremony – our children. Our future generation.”