St. George's Indian Band

Aboriginal Day 2008

St. George’s Indian Band

Despite the cold, damp and rain, approximately sixty-five people attended the St. George’s Indian Band’s seventh annual “Sunrise Ceremony” on “Seal Rocks” hill on Saturday, June 21, 2008.  The historic and picturesque Mi’kmaq community of “Seal Rocks”, established in 1804 as a permanent settlement for the Mi’kmaq of Newfoundland and for the resettlement of the Mi’kmaq People from Nova Scotia provided the perfect location for this traditional and sacred ceremony.  The ceremony was led by spiritual leader, Violet Dawson, while being assisted by Andrea Bennett and Alison White.  The ceremonies began with an opening prayer spoken in Mi’kmaq by twelve year old Andrea Bennett.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aboriginal Day, June 21, is a day that has been recognized Nationally as a day to celebrate our Aboriginal Culture and Heritage.  It is the first day of summer and the longest day of the year.  Thanks to the hard working members of the St. George’s Indian Band, this longest day of the year was filled with Mi’kmaq cultural activities from a beautiful Sunrise Ceremony at “Seal Rocks” (an area once known as Indian Town) to a just as beautiful Sunset Ceremony at the mouth of Barachois (an area once known as Indian Pond). The Medicine Wheel teaching was shared early that morning at the “Sunrise Ceremony” and from that moment on everyone lived up to that sacred teaching by participating in the remainder of the day’s activities.

The Sunrise Ceremony was followed by a delicious hearty breakfast at the St. George’s Rec Plex that was prepared and served by the fabulous cooking team of Joe White, Harold Sheppard and Michael Dawson.  Then came the ever challenging hike to the top of “Steel Mountain”, one of our traditional sacred sites where participants were taught about tobacco offerings and how to make tobacco ties, as well as taking part in a tribute to Grandfather Eagle.  Then in the afternoon, there were the Sharing Sessions that involved people learning how to make dream catchers, spruce root baskets, and traditional beading techniques.  This was followed by a traditional feast of salmon, cod, moose, etc. with a dessert of strawberries and cream.  We then held a tribute to Mother Earth to thank her for all that she had provided.  Then it was time for the Giveaway, with a giveaway table that was covered with gifts that had been donated by the St. George’s Indian Band. Then everyone headed to the mouth of Barachois Brook for canoe rides, storytelling, talking circle and Sunset Ceremony.

Aboriginal Day is such a special day for aboriginal people all over Canada and we as this country’s First Nation’s Mi’kmaq people never want to have it said that we let this day go by without showing our appreciation for the opportunity to celebrate our rich culture and heritage.  It is a day to reflect on all the good things the Creator has provided and to say “Thank You”.  “Aboriginal Day is the best day of the year!” said twelve year old Andrea Bennett, who has been taking part in the St. George’s Indian Band’s Aboriginal Day Celebrations since she was five years old.  She has never missed an aboriginal day celebration and already can’t wait for next year’s events.

We would like to acknowledge and thank the provincial department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation for their generous contribution in the amount of $1000 and we would also like to thank everyone who volunteered their time towards making this event, a day to remember.

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