BRANTFORD – The Sanderson Centre for Performing Arts welcomed students from across the Grand Erie District to enjoy Sharing Our Voices, A Celebration of Indigenous Culture on Tuesday, June 20 in relation to National Aboriginal Day.
The Grand Erie Elementary Teachers’ Federation co-hosted the event with the Grand Erie District School Board (GEDSB) to allow students, community leaders and indigenous performers to share and showcase both talent and culture in light of some of the “tremendous contributions that indigenous make” to their communities.
The event began with a performance by Lacey Hill and rolled into a series of welcoming from GEDSB, the Six Nations Community and the Missisaugas of the New Credit First Nation. Voices such as the Director of Education Brenda Blancher, Six Nations Band Council Representative Audrey Powless-Bomberry, and New Credit First Nation Chief Stacey LaForme graced the audiences with words of encouragement and thankfulness.
Next for the performances came the Old Mush Singers, Santee Smith and her dance presentation as well as a jazz dance performance by students Taya Guy and Jordan Powless.
Quick to follow was a speech by Justice Gethin Edwards regarding accountability, Hill’s final guitar performance, and the Metis fiddler quartet: Conlin Delbaere-Sawchuk and Nicholas Delbaere-Sawchuk performed using a guitar and fiddle for the audience.
To finalize the event came the Oliver M. Smith and Agnes Hodge Music Monday Presentation and the Manitou Mkwa Singers fro the New Credit First Nation who presented a powerful song.
The event was filled with sharing and understanding, as each performer shared roots of culture and experience, and wisdom.