Creating awareness of Indigenous cultures, Lakeland students took the lead hosting Indigenous Awareness Week events and activities, March 18-22.
“We choose our events based on how we can create awareness of our culture and also help educate people at Lakeland and in the community,” says Wade Witstone, co-chair of the Indigenous Student Committee and a grad of the general business major. Whitstone is currently pursuing a bachelor of management and is a musician.
The Indigenous Student Committee is also comprised of:
- Co-chair Ian Crate, a second-year business administration accounting major and a Grammy award nominee and winning Powwow singer;
- Event coordinator Levi Wolfe, a university transfer student and the National Youth Representative for Native Friendship Centres in Alberta;
- Event coordinator Reanna Chief, a university transfer student and a woman’s fancy dance champion on the Powwow circuit;
- Event coordinator Clint Dillon, a university transfer student and a presenter for Healthy Choices and Living;
- Event coordinator Kuna Gadwa, a university transfer student and jingle dress dancer and member of the Lloydminster Students’ Association;
- Treasurer Melissa Taylor, a business administration accounting major;
- Secretary Anita Cross, a business administration accounting major and horse trainer for her late father’s chuckwagon team.
Over the week, the committee hosted an Indigenous cultural display, Métis Nation of Alberta presentation, Powwow performance, blanket exercise, craft display and sale, and bannock making challenge.
“This is the second Indigenous Awareness Week we’ve hosted
on campus and it’s turned out awesome,” says Crate. “We’ve also hosted The Red Dress Project and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Walk, and other events.”
Lakeland has also hosted the Truth and Reconciliation Speaker Series, Elder in Residence program, the raising of the Treaty 6 and Métis flags at both campuses, ceremonial feasts, round dances, bannock making contests, blanket exercises and teepee raisings.
Lakeland opened an Indigenous Student Lounge
at the Lloydminster campus in January 2018. This student space is a place for all college students and the Lakeland community to share and learn more about Indigenous identity, culture and history, as well as practice spiritual customs.
Photos: (Top-Bottom) The Indigenous Student Committee with the powwow dancers. Powwow attendees participate in a round dance at the Lloydminster campus. Dr. Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president and CEO, visits the Indigenous cultural display hosted by the committee. A blanket exercise was held in the Servus Credit Union Hospitality Centre.