by Petra Cegielny –
The University of Alberta, Augustana Campus is celebrating 100 years of history in Camrose, Alberta. As part of their many centennial celebrations, Augustana is partnering with the U of A’s Aboriginal Student Services Centre to co-host the university’s annual Round Dance. This celebration – a first for the campus community – will take place on Saturday, January 29, in the Augustana campus gymnasium.
The Round Dance ceremony illustrates the Cree philosophy of death and the 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. The Round Dance was a healing ceremony that became a social 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 ones, a Round Dance is for everyone: children, friends, families, youth and Elders.
U of A Augustana’s Round Dance will kick off the U of A’s 2011 International Week events and will feature a special ceremony to honour Augustana’s Aboriginal graduates from the past.
Since May 2008, Augustana has recognized the academic accomplishments of graduating Aboriginal students who choose to participate in an Honouring Ceremony. During Convocation, a local Elder and a representative from Augustana’s Aboriginal Students Office congratulate students and present them with an Eagle Feather. This is a new tradition for the campus; individuals who graduated from Augustana prior to 2008 did not have the opportunity to participate. Therefore, during the upcoming Round Dance, Augustana will hold a special Honouring Ceremony to recognize the academic accomplishments of First Nation, Métis and Inuit university/college alumni who graduated prior to 2008.
If you would like to attend, or identify yourself as a First Nation, Métis, or Inuit alumnus from Augustana and would like to participate in the Honouring Ceremony at the Round Dance, the campus would love to hear from you! Please contact Trina Harrison at 1-800-661-8714 or email Trina Harrison to express your interest. More information about the Round Dance is also available through the U of A’s Aboriginal Student Services Centre by phone at 780-492-5677, by email or online.
Augustana is the University of Alberta’s undergraduate liberal-arts campus with close to 1,000 students in Arts, Sciences, Music, and Management degree programs. The community invites everyone to attend this very special event, help celebrate their centenary and honour their Aboriginal graduates from years past. The evening will commence with a Pipe Ceremony 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