Re­galia re­spects ‘who we are’

Work­shop of­fered Jan. 19-20

North Bay Nugget - - NEWS - PJ Wil­son

It’s “re­ally im­por­tant” that Indige­nous peo­ple main­tain their his­tory – par­tic­u­larly when it comes to the re­galia they wear at tra­di­tional gath­er­ings.

“It’s who we are as peo­ple,” Cather­ine Sarazin says. “We are re­spect­ing who we are, who came be­fore us.”

Sarazin will con­duct a re­galia mak­ing work­shop Jan. 19 and 20 at the North Bay Indige­nous Friend­ship Cen­tre. It’s a work­shop she’s been hosting for a num­ber of years, in­tro­duc­ing the stu­dents of all ages to the tra­di­tion.

“I talk about re­galia and the dif­fer­ent types of re­galia,” she ex­plains. “If peo­ple have ma­te­ri­als or rib­bons they have been car­ry­ing, some­thing sig­nif­i­cant to them, they can bring it.”

Some peo­ple, she says, have been “car­ry­ing things around – neck­laces, a pouch, a belt that has been handed down – that can be­come part of their re­galia.”

This work­shop will fo­cus on “very ba­sic out­fits,” some­thing to get peo­ple started.

“Peo­ple can take pride in it, even if they just make a skirt,” Sarazin says. “They get so much pride in wear­ing that. It’s re­mark­able.

“If we can in­still pride in a per­son” from what they have cre­ated, she says, “it has a rip­ple ef­fect.”

There will be no bead­work or leather work in the work­shop. Those are sub­jects for dif­fer­ent work­shops.

“They are so time-con­sum­ing,” Sarazin says. “They need a lot more at­ten­tion, more one-on-one work. They use dif­fer­ent tech­niques.”

There will also be no work on moc­casins.

“Those take two days on their own.”

dif­fer­ent na­tions also have their own dis­tinc­tive styles, Sarazin says, and those dif­fer­ences will also be re­spected at the work­shop.

Last year, seven mem­bers of one fam­ily – a woman, her three daugh­ters and three grand-daugh­ters – par­tic­i­pated in a work­shop.

“It was re­ally nice that they were able to do it in the same class,” she says.

In pre­vi­ous years – Sarazin says she has been mak­ing or teach­ing peo­ple how to make their own re­galia for about 30 years – she has seen peo­ple come in to make their own re­galia, only to re­turn years later with their own daugh­ters or grand-chil­dren to help them cre­ate their own.

Peo­ple tak­ing the work­shop will be pro­vided all the ba­sic ma­te­ri­als to cre­ate their re­galia, and Sarazin says no ex­pe­ri­ence is nec­es­sary.

“We will show them ev­ery­thing, from putting the rib­bons on to us­ing the sew­ing ma­chines or hand­stitch­ing.”

She also says it is a “very sat­is­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, es­pe­cially when you see the young ones at a gath­er­ing in the re­galia their grand­moth­ers just made.”

The work­shop will be held Jan. 19 and 20 at the North Bay Indige­nous Friend­ship Cen­tre from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Those wish­ing to par­tic­i­pate in the work­shop must regis­ter in ad­vance by con­tact­ing Sarazin at 705-4747600 ext. 5824.

Nugget file Photo

Adri­ana Mcken­zie, 4, dances dur­ing the North Bay Indige­nous Friend­ship Cen­tre's Maamwi Kin­daaswin Pow-wow at Lee Park last June. A work­shop on mak­ing re­galia will be held at the North Bay Indige­nous Friend­ship Cen­tre Jan. 19 and 20.


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