Find­ing that con­nec­tion

An­gela Brown has found peace in her na­tive spir­i­tu­al­ity

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - FRANK GALE [email protected]­ern­star.com Twit­ter: @WS_FrankGale

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.

SUB­MIT­TED

An­gela Brown of Cor­ner Brook is look­ing for­ward to per­form­ing at the first-ever Sweet­grass Fes­ti­val in Stephenvil­le this summer.

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