Drums, dance and community pride

Dal Mawio'mi on Wednesday, Oct. 2

- September 27, 2013

A dancer at last year's Mawio'mi. (Danny Abriel photo)
A dancer at last year's Mawio'mi. (Danny Abriel photo)

The Dal community will get to experience a taste of our region’s founding culture next Wednesday.

The annual Mawio’mi, or “powwow,” is a fall highlight at Dal — an entire afternoon of dancing, drumming and traditional dining on the Studley quad. It’s a celebration of heritage to help kick off Mi’kmaq History Month.

“The event has had the same title for the past few years: ‘This is Our Way,’” explains Sara Swasson, native post-secondary liaison with Dal’s Native Post Secondary Education Counselling Unit. “It’s a showcase of a part of our culture for students, faculty, staff and the general public.”

The Mawio’mi, free and open to all to attend, kicks off with a traditional meal at 11:30 a.m. in the Studley gym — moose meat stew with luskinikn bread — followed by the Grand Entry to the quad at 12:45. (In the event of rain, the Mawio’mi will take place in the gym itself.)

The Mawio’mi’s honoured guest this year is Bob Gloade, Chief of the Millbrook First Nation. Dal President Richard Florizone will also be on hand to help raise the Mi’kmaq flag over the Studley Campus quad.

With a record number of donations this year to support the event, there will be three drum groups performing and a large dance contingent.

Psychology student Michelle Bernard, acting president of the Dalhousie Native Students Association, says that for aboriginal students on campus, the event is a moment of great pride and belonging.

“It’s great to share our culture and increase awareness, but it’s also important because, as Mi’kmaq students, many of us are coming to Dal from communities from away,” she says. “We really miss that cultural experience, so bringing it here to campus makes you really feel at home.”

Dalhousie Mawio’mi
Traditional meal begins at 11:30 a.m., Studley Gym
Grand Entry begins at 12:45 p.m., followed by flag raising, drumming and dancing
Studley Quad (rain location — Studley Gym)
All are invited


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