A one-of-a-kind cultural event is set to take centre stage at Humber college this Saturday.
By Elton Hobson
This Saturday, Humber College’s Lakeshore campus hosts an event steeped in native tradition, music, culture and dance.
The Humber Aboriginal community pow-wow is a unique showcase of Aboriginal culture featuring Native dancers, musicians, and artists. The afternoon event also features individual dance demonstrations, as well as educational features on Aboriginal history, language, and clothing.
“The Aboriginal pow-wow has been a tradition at both Humber’s North and Lakeshore campuses for many years now,” said Jonathon Araujo, community liaison at Humber’s Aboriginal Student Centre. “The goal of these events is to raise awareness of Aboriginal culture, both at Humber and in the larger community.”
Last year, there were 350 Aboriginal students enrolled full-time at Humber, with more than that expected for this year, said Araujo.
“We have the largest Aboriginal population of any college in the GTA,” he said.
The event is part of Culture Days, a three day cross-Canada celebration of the arts and cultural life of many different Canadian communities.
The pow-wow is one of many presentations Humber college is putting on as part of its collaboration with Culture Days.
“Humber has stepped up to the plate incredibly,” said Susan Nagy, executive director of Lakeshore Arts, a non-profit community outreach organization dedicated to improving the availability of arts, cultural and heritage activities in the Lakeshore area.
Lakeshore Arts was contacted by the Ontario Arts Council to act as a community organizer for Culture Days when the festival was first conceived three years ago.
Nagy said her organization “threw out a line” to any organization or institution willing to contribute to the Culture Days festivities, an offer Humber readily accepted.
“Humber has embraced the opportunity to showcase a lot of what they are doing in terms of unique cultural events,” Nagy said. “They’re opening up their doors and providing opportunities not just for the students, but for the larger community.”
And the community is responding in a big way.
“Last year, we had between 1,000 to 1,500 people attend [the pow-wow],” said Araujo. “We’re hoping for similar numbers this year.”
The Aboriginal community pow-wow takes place Saturday at Humber’s Lakeshore campus. The event runs from noon to 2 p.m.