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A gathering of Nations at Okanagan College community event
Okanagan College Media Release

Pow Wow 2012Band members from throughout the Okanagan Nation, members of the community and students will come together at Okanagan College on Thursday, Sept. 19 for the fifth Annual Youth Exhibition Pow Wow. The festivities take place in the courtyard of the College’s Kelowna campus from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

This year’s MC is Elder Richard Jackson Jr. and the event features the drumming artistry of Iron Mountain and Little Hawk. Students from schools from around the province will also be taking part in the dance performances. Spectators will have the opportunity to sample Indian Ice cream (a whipped light dessert), and bannock (a fry-bread specialty of Aboriginal cooks) from the Kekuli Café and First Nation’s fashion designer Jill Setah will be on hand showcasing her creations.

In addition, students from the College’s Women in Social Justice class will be offering support to this year’s events.

“We’re talking about marginalized indigenous populations in B.C. and Canada in my class and the students thought it would be a fitting to contribute to the local First Nations, Metis, and Inuit populations,” says Women’s Studies professor Levi Gahman.

To that end the class will be helping serve an Elder’s Lunch being put on by the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, as well as distribute information about the significance of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (whose goal is to create awareness of what took place at residential schools and honour and support those affected) for Truth and Reconciliation Week (Sept. 16-22).

“The awareness we hope to bring to the Pow Wow about Truth and Reconciliation juxtaposes the celebration that’s going on and highlights the ongoing resilience of our First Nations communities. Despite the violence and oppression they have faced, Aboriginal People are still dancing and singing,” says Gahman.

Aboriginal students make up nearly eight per cent of the student population at Okanagan College, with more than 1,500 students attending in 2012-13.

For more details, visit the www.okanagan.bc.ca/powwow.