Annual First Peoples’ Festival showcases Aboriginal diversity to students

Schools & Students

Students from all grades engrossed themselves in First Nation culture at the 6th Annual First Peoples’ Festival.

The festival, which took place May 1-2 at the UBC Museum of Anthropology, showcases the diversity among Indigenous people with the hope that both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students will benefit from this shared experience and gain understanding through participation.

Through interactive workshops, students learned about Indigenous plant knowledge, traditional weaving, hoop dancing, drum making, Westcoast art, Musqueam teachings, and the Potlatch. They also participated in a workshop on acknowledging and challenging the stereotypes facing Indigenous people.

“This event is to celebrate Aboriginal culture and allow students to experience the richness and vibrancy of not only our local cultures, but cultures across the country,” said Chas Desjarlais, VSB Aboriginal Education Consultant. “They get to see that Aboriginal people have been here a very long time and we are very much here now.”

Hosting the event at the Museum of Anthropology gave students the opportunity to see Aboriginal culture through the ages to the present. That sense of history was most significant during the closing event where students participated in a circle dance performed by Lax Kxeen Tsimshiam dancers in an atrium surrounding by ancient totem poles.

First Peoples Festival 2017