Finding that connection
Angela Brown has found peace in her native spirituality
STEPHENVILLE — Angela Brown says she found peace in her native spirituality, and for her it will be an honour to perform in the first ever Sweetgrass Festival in Stephenville.
She learned of her Indigenous connection years ago when her cousin Carol Ann Brown of Halifax found the family’s connection to the Algonquin people.
While she doesn’t have documentation, she said that spiritual connection has provided her a feeling of fulfillment and completeness.
Brown has been performing as a musician/singer since the age of six and played with the Driftwood Band at 18 years of age.
Despite being a busy mom of two children, ages nine and 10, she stills finds time to do a lot of solo acts as a singer/songwriter and plays in Gros Morne on a regular basis.
She still does some seamstress work and is a licensed Naturopath, using her education and experience as a licensed practical nurse. She said there are a lot of Mi’kmaq sacred teachings and medicines that are very powerful.
Brown said she learned an awful lot when she lived in Conne River from 2002 to 2006.
“The people there are beautiful. I was so fortunate to have had that time there — some of the best years of my life,” she said.
She still attends powwows in Conne River. While there, she says she became part of the community and learned a lot from people in the Mi’kmaq community.
In Conne River she made a lot of Regalia, from jingle dresses, fancy shawls, ribbon shirts to authentic traditional shawls with spool fringe.
“I really felt like I found my way home when I embraced the culture,” she said.
At the Sweetgrass Festival she will be singing, chanting, doing backup harmonies and playing the guitar and drum.
She said she has been all over Canada performing and hasn’t been in a friendlier town than Stephenville.
Brown said unlike a powwow, which is a sacred event; a Sweetgrass Festival is a cultural gathering, so people of all nations can attend and not be stressed about proper etiquette.
“Everyone can come and learn more about the Mi’kmaq culture in an alcohol and drug free atmosphere, which is fantastic,” she said.
The festival is taking place Aug. 23 to 25 with events at the Stephenville Arts and Culture Centre and Blanche Brook Park.
Angela Brown of Corner Brook is looking forward to performing at the first-ever Sweetgrass Festival in Stephenville this summer.