Indigenous Round Dance embraces Blackfoot tradition at MHC
A tradition meant to bring community together for healing is returning to Medicine Hat College (MHC), as it plans to host its second annual Indigenous Round Dance on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 6 p.m. in its gymnasium.
In partnership with the Firekeeper’s Women’s Society and supported by Community Foundation of South Eastern Alberta and South Country Co-op, the event will align closely with Blackfoot tradition and is open to community members of all ages, religions, and backgrounds.
Chasity Cairns, manager of Indigenous engagement and student supports at MHC, says the round dance is an opportunity to come together at the beginning of the year to provide strength, healing, and to honour women.
“A round dance is a healing ceremony that is done in the wintertime. It’s believed that when you’re dancing in the circle that your ancestors will be dancing with you and so if your heart is heavy in those times, they will come and hear you and bring you the strength to move forward in the year.”
MHC alum and radio personality, Kyle Blood, is the emcee for the evening and Elder Charlie Fox will lead a traditional prayer and smudge before the dance. Cairns encourages all to attend as an opportunity to come together and connect as a community.
“Non-Indigenous people participating in traditional events, like the round dance, is a step toward reconciliation,” adds Cairns. “At one time in our history it was against the law to have a round dance. Now, dancing together shows how far we have come as a community.”
In a traditional round dance, women are encouraged to wear long skirts, however attendees are welcome to wear what they feel most comfortable to dance in. Parking will be free and there is no registration required. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.