Saulteau First Nation kicked off its annual Pemmican Days this weekend, holding a parade, a grande entry dance, drumming, hand games, horseshoes, and a feast Friday night.
The three day celebration of culture was started by former chief Jack Davis, and Saulteau leaders Bud Napoleon and Art Napoleon. Current Chief Justin Napoleon kept his address short and sweet for the crowd, encouraging everyone to have a great family-friendly weekend.
“This the first time in three years that we’ve been here, so let’s have a good time, let’s have fun, let’s show respect to everybody and lots of love,” he said.
Emcee and Saulteau member Kirsta Lindstrom said the weekend also honours Elder Virginia Lalonde, who passed away earlier this week. Lalonde was ever present in the community, a mother and grandmother to many, she said.
“Every single year she’s always here, front and centre. Always teaching, always wanting to make sure that the ways of the old ways are passed on and carried on to the next generation, and now she’s left that up to us,” she said.
Saulteau councillor Fallon Gauthier thanked everyone who attended their round dance ceremony on July 7.
“Hats to off to the Saulteau team, it was absolutely amazing. I’m honoured to be here this year, with all of our family, our friends, our neighbours,” she said.
Fellow councillor Juritha Owens said the event is a great opportunity to reconnect after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m so happy that we could come together and celebrate with each other – family, cousins, friends, this is amazing, outsiders coming to join us, wonderful. I’m so happy that we’re here as a collective, enjoying our festivities and our food, just the company of one another,” said Owens.
Tom Summer, Alaska Highway News, Local Journalism Initiative.
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