Cel­e­brat­ing Mi’kmaq cul­ture

This year’s ex­hi­bi­tion will fea­ture drum­ming, danc­ing, work­shops and sto­ry­telling

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY DAVE STE­WART dave.ste­wart@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/DveSte­wart

“We want In­dige­nous peo­ple to en­ter the com­pe­ti­tion as well as mul­ti­cul­tural youth. We’d love to see a broad­en­ing of the com­peti­tors. We dis­cussed this last year about hav­ing a large in­dige­nous pres­ence to have that in­clu­sion, to show them in a very pos­i­tive light.’’ Tom Al­brecht

In­clu­sion and di­ver­sity are go­ing to be big parts of the 64th an­nual Cra­paud Ex­hi­bi­tion this year.

The event, which runs July 2830, has al­ways been known for its heavy em­pha­sis on all things agri­cul­tural, but it’s branch­ing out this year to in­clude a ma­jor pres­ence from the Is­land’s Mi’kmaq com­mu­nity.

“What is new this year is, as part of the 150th cel­e­bra­tion, we have as part of the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and in­clu­sion, we’ve in­cluded the In­dige­nous peo­ple and in­vited them to come,’’ said Tom Al­brecht, one of the direc­tors of the Cra­paud Ex­hi­bi­tion As­so­ci­a­tion.

“They will set up in a big tent up here, and it’s go­ing to be a Fri­day night event go­ing into Satur­day.’’

Fol­low­ing a com­mu­nity bar­be­cue at the ex­hi­bi­tion site on Fri­day night, the open­ing cer­e­monies will kick off at 7 p.m. with a grand en­try at the Cra­paud Ac­ti­plex with Mi’kmaq drum­mers, a flag cer­e­mony and a Mi’kmaq elder of­fer­ing an open­ing prayer and smudge.

“We’re en­cour­ag­ing all the peo­ple to be sit­ting in the hockey rink and then we’ll have the en­try with the chiefs and the elder,” said Fran Al­brecht, an­other one of the direc­tors.

The cer­e­mony will fea­ture open­ing re­marks by Pre­mier Wade MacLauch­lan and Lt.Gov. Frank Lewis.

Also on Fri­day night is the an­nual P.E.I. Has Tal­ent show. Or­ga­niz­ers are hop­ing for a di­verse lineup of tal­ent.

“We want In­dige­nous peo­ple to en­ter the com­pe­ti­tion as well as mul­ti­cul­tural youth,’’ said Tom Al­brecht. “We’d love to see a broad­en­ing of the com­peti­tors. We dis­cussed this last year about hav­ing a large in­dige­nous pres­ence to have that in­clu­sion, to show them in a very pos­i­tive light.’’

“I don’t think there’s any other ex­hi­bi­tions do­ing as much in this area,’’ Fran added.

On Satur­day, July 29, a Mi’kmaq elder will of­fer an­other open­ing prayer and smudge at 10:30 a.m. be­fore Sto­ries of the Mi’kmaq takes place in the chil­dren’s area (green build­ing) at 10:35 a.m.

Work­shops in­volv­ing bead and quill work, dream catch­ers and leather work (sign-up re­quired) go from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Mi’kmaq drum­ming and danc­ing will take place 12:30-2:30 p.m., along with the Mi’kmaq Le­gends theatre group.

There will be hands-on work­shops (sign-up re­quired), 2:30-4 p.m., fol­lowed by Sto­ries from the Mi’kmaq in the chil­dren’s area once again at 3:15 p.m.

The Mi’kmaq por­tion of the ex­hi­bi­tion wraps up at 4 p.m. with the re­tir­ing of the flag cer­e­mony, an ex­change of gifts be­tween in­dige­nous youth and non-in­dige­nous youth and a round dance that the pub­lic is wel­come to par­tic­i­pate in.

DAVE STE­WART/THE GUARDIAN

Tom Al­brecht, one of the direc­tors with the Cra­paud Ex­hi­bi­tion As­so­ci­a­tion, says this year’s ex­hi­bi­tion will fea­ture a heavy pres­ence from the Is­land’s Mi’kmaq cul­ture, all part of the as­so­ci­a­tion’s way of cel­e­brat­ing Canada 150. The Cra­paud Ex­hi­bi­tion goes July 28-30.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.