Decolonization, Events, Student Services
Highlights of First Peoples Week 2021
First Peoples’ Week, the annual celebration of Indigenous peoples’ histories and cultures, returned to Dawson College after being pre-empted by the initial COVID-19 lockdown. The weeklong event took place March 29 to April 1 and featured a great selection of Indigenous knowledge keepers, representing many of the various Indigenous peoples in Quebec.
Event organizers included The First Peoples’ Centre, Campus Life and Leadership, The Decolonization and Indigenization Studies Certificate, and the Dawson Peace Centre. This year’s edition was hosted virtually. While it was different from previous years; it was no less of a success.
There were 16 activities in total, ranging from traditional knowledge sharing, painting, musical performances, and a comedy show featuring Dawson graduate Tai Leclaire, who has recently made his television-writing debut on the Peacock network sitcom Rutherford Falls.
Other highlights include a presentation from Aronhiaies Herne from Akwesasne, Mohawk Territory, on the ceremony cycle of the Haudenosaunee peoples. In addition, an Indigenous Fashion and Arts Roundtable was held featuring Anishnabe artist Cedar-Eve and Eeyou Elder Joanie Saganash. The round table was moderated by Metis-Salteaux artist Dayna Danger.
Student and faculty participation exceeded expectations, thanks in no small part to faculty who welcomed virtual presentations into their classes. The number of attendees was similar to what we would’ve expected if we were able to be in person. There was excellent student participation as well, which is what makes the programming worth the hard work.
Submitted by Tiawenti:non Canadian, Coordinator of the First Peoples’ Centre, Student Services