Student Journalism - Kenora Catholic Fall Feast

Student Journalism - Kenora Catholic Fall Feast
Posted on 10/15/2019
Student Journalism - Kenora Catholic Fall Feast

This article was written by Grade 12 student Jessica Doner as part of St. Thomas Aquinas's Student Journalism Program.

A traditional drumming and flag dance started off the annual Fall Feast and Powwow at École Ste Marguerite Bourgeoys last Thursday. Students, staff and community members were invited to walk or dance around the drummers in a circle, honoring the cultural belief in the circle of life.

Elder Keshiibeniik (Isobel White) from Whitefish Bay explained the importance of this event and its significance to her.

"In honoring what was gifted to us we feast. We thank the Creator and [are] asking the Creator for the good life and asking for more good life in the future," she said.

Elder White added that the drumming, dancing and feasting ceremony brings everyone together as a community. Elder Copenace prayed for and blessed the event and the food that was prepared. First Nation, Inuit and Métis students from Saint Thomas Aquinas High School drummed to help the elders in performing their customary songs. The gymnasium was packed wall to wall with students enjoying the festivities.

Grade 6 student, Ireland Roulston, talked about what she learned.

"Everything they do has to be in a circle to represent the circle of life." When asked why this event was important, she replied, "So that kids can learn about different cultures in our community."

This event has been put on for many years now, always hosted at one of the Catholic schools in Kenora. This year, École Ste Marguerite Bourgeoys took on the role. Elder White explained why it's important to host feasts.

"In our Anishinaabe ways, we feast fall and spring. Some feast every season. I feast January, I feast for the New Year [and] I thank the New Year for giving us a good life and asking for another good life. So, that's basically what the feast is all about."

Elder Copenace closed the ceremony with a blessing and a prayer on the sacred blankets. Drummers will return in the spring to celebrate the next traditional feast.

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