As part of our Centennial celebrations, the Augustana Campus is pleased to be partnering with the University of Alberta’s Aboriginal Student Services Centre to co-host the U of A’s annual Round Dance in Camrose on Saturday, January 29, 2011. During this cultural celebration, Augustana will hold a special ceremony to honour its Aboriginal graduates from the past.
The Pipe Ceremony will commence at 5:00 pm with the Feast, Round Dance and Honouring Ceremony to follow.
Everyone is welcome to join the circle!
U of A Annual Round Dance
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Augustana Campus Gymnasium
4901 – 46 Avenue
5:00 pm – 2:00 am
Since May 2008, Augustana has recognized the academic accomplishments of graduating Aboriginal students by honouring participants in an Eagle Feather Ceremony. During Convocation, a local Elder and a representative from the Aboriginal Students Office congratulate students and present them with an Eagle Feather. To be given an Eagle Feather is the highest honor that can be awarded within Aboriginal cultures. It is a sacred symbol, a mark of distinction and often indicates a rite of passage.
The Eagle Feather Ceremony is a new tradition for our campus; individuals who graduated from Augustana prior to 2008 did not have the opportunity to receive this honour. Therefore, during the upcoming Round Dance, Augustana will hold a special Eagle Feather Ceremony to recognize the academic accomplishments of First Nation, Métis and Inuit university/college alumni who graduated prior to 2008 and wish to participate.
If you would like to identify yourself as a First Nation, Métis, or Inuit alumnus and would like to participate in the Eagle Feather Ceremony at the Round Dance, we’d love to hear from you! Please contact Trina Harrison in Augustana’s Alumni Office toll free at 1-800-590-9992 to express your interest.
The Round Dance ceremony illustrates the Cree philosophy of death and its relationship between us and Spirits. The Northern Lights are said to be our relations that have passed on. The Elders say that the people that have passed on come to dance with us at the Round Dance; in that respect our relatives are always here with us. In this dance people move like the Northern Lights, in an up and down motion as they dance around the drum. We join hands in a circle and dance clockwise with the drum and singers sitting in the middle. The beat of the drum is like the heartbeat of the community and all members move as one.
The Round Dance was a healing ceremony that became a social dance for our people and a dance that is held in the winter season. From the first tuning of the hand drums (by way of fire), to the fun of meeting old friends and making new, a Round Dance is for everyone, children, friends, families, youth and Elders. This is a time to swap stories, catch up on the latest news, break bannock, and share some tea. And even better, to hear both the old and new songs sung by your favorite singers. It’s a time to honor traditions and memories of our ancestors dancing around their starry campfires, flickering against the dark blanket of the night sky.
We expect several hundred visitors to attend this centenary event and are currently looking for volunteers to help make this celebration a success. There are lots of roles to fill and jobs to do. Anything you can do to help would be greatly appreciated!
If you’re from Augustana or the Camrose community and are interested in volunteering, please contact Petra Cegielny by email or call 780-679-1562.
If you’re from the University of Alberta in Edmonton and are interested in volunteering, please contact Jennifer Slywka with the Aboriginal Student Services Centre or call 780-492-5677.
For further information about the Round Dance and/or the Honouring Ceremony, please speak with Augustana’s Aboriginal Students Office at 780-679-1562 or contact the U of A’s Aboriginal Student Services Centre by phone at 780-492-5677.