VIDEO: Performers awe crowds at 2019 Indigenous Cultural Festival

Spakwus Slolem – translated Eagle Song Dancers in English – are members of the Squamish Nation. They performed a number of songs including the paddle song, Gathering for Eagles song and the Slow Bird song at the Royal BC Museum plaza on Sunday afternoon. The dance group was one of dozens of B.C. First Nations performers to wow crowds at the three-day Indigenous Cultural Festival. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Alex Wells, a three-time world champion hoop dancer from Lil’wat Nation performed at the Indigenous Cultural Festival at the Royal BC Museum Plaza on Sunday. Wells has performed around the world and teaches dancing to all ages. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Spakwus Slolem – translated Eagle Song Dancers in English – are members of the Squamish Nation. They performed a number of songs including the paddle song, Gathering for Eagles song and the Slow Bird song at the Royal BC Museum plaza on Sunday afternoon. The dance group was one of dozens of B.C. First Nations performers to wow crowds at the three-day Indigenous Cultural Festival. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Spakwus Slolem – translated Eagle Song Dancers in English – members of the Squamish Nation perform the Gathering for Eagles song at the Royal BC Museum plaza on Sunday afternoon during the Indigenous Cultural Festival. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Spakwus Slolem – translated Eagle Song Dancers in English – members of the Squamish Nation perform the Gathering for Eagles song at the Royal BC Museum plaza on Sunday afternoon during the Indigenous Cultural Festival. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Spakwus Slolem – translated Eagle Song Dancers in English – are members of the Squamish Nation. They performed a number of songs including the paddle song, Gathering for Eagles song and the Slow Bird song at the Royal BC Museum plaza on Sunday afternoon. The dance group was one of dozens of B.C. First Nations performers to wow crowds at the three-day Indigenous Cultural Festival. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

A celebration of B.C. First Nations culture returned to Victoria this weekend.

The 2019 Victoria Indigenous Cultural Festival provides a unique and special opportunity to connect with and learn about the incredible cultures of B.C.’s First Nations peoples – from stunning song and dance performances to demonstrations of weaving and drum-making.

READ ALSO: WATCH: Thousands gather for National Indigenous Peoples Day at Royal Roads University

“What’s happened in the last while is, our people have put ourselves into a position to say, ‘okay we know what’s happened in the past, but we have to look to the future,’” said George Taylor, festival organizer. “That’s the way I look at it. The only way we’re going to be able to do things together is to we have to do it in support of one another.”

Taylor, of Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations, says festivals such as this one play an important role.

“The festival is very, very well known throughout the province now and people come from the U.S.,” he said. “I think it’s so important because our people, at one point in time, were not allowed to speak our language, were not allowed to practice our culture and we had to go underground. Now we are in the position where we celebrate together.”

Held in partnership with the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations, the three-day festival kicked off Friday – National Indigenous Peoples Day – and ran until Sunday outside the Royal BC Museum.

Visitors took in smudge ceremonies, storytelling, drum-making and cedar-weaving demonstrations, not to mention traditional dancers and singers from across B.C. including the Answer Womens Drum Group, Homiss Family Dancers, South Island Singers and Dancers, Lekwungen Traditional Dancers, Spakwus Slolem dancers and more.

READ ALSO: International conference to boost Indigenous languages comes to Victoria



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

‘More animals could have a chance:’ Victoria Humane Society in desperate need of a home

Animal rescue currently has 163 animals in foster and volunteer homes

Free-B Film Festival celebrates 20th anniversary

Head to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park to see some family favourites on the big screen

Central Saanich accused of not following Climate Emergency declaration with urgent action

Motion to research climate response options and costs rejected then rescheduled in tense meeting

Join North Saanich invasives removal and experience three key benefits

Friends of North Saanich Parks says July 27 clear-up will be rewarding as well as green

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read