Sask. aboriginal community welcomes refugees with round dance
Events happening in Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert and Moose Jaw
It's a welcome from the province's first peoples to some of its newest citizens.
Events taking place this week across the province are introducing refugees to Indigenous culture.
It's part of the bridges program — which was created to develop a stronger relationship between indigenous people and newcomers.
Beulah Gana is with the Saskatchewan Association of Immigrant Settlement and Integration Agencies (SAISIA), an organization that helps settle and integrate immigrants.
According to Gana, it's important to build bridges between the two communities early.
"[Newcomers] don't know there are the people who have been on the land first. You have this impression that this is all white Caucasians," she said.
A grand entry, round dance and an opportunity for the two groups to share elements of their cultures are all part of the events.
The communities have joined hands in a round dance. <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCSask">@CBCSask</a> <a href="https://t.co/qfEQSMepDj">pic.twitter.com/qfEQSMepDj</a>—@arielle_zerr
Something special happened organically after the round dance at Saskatoon's event on Wednesday, said Brad Bird with the Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Saskatchewan.
"At first they were a little hesitant and shy and then once they got in there you could see the joy on their face and also they did a dance performance for us as well and I thought that that was really special that they felt open enough to share that with us," said Bird.
And the Syrians share some of their cultural dancing too. <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCSask">@CBCSask</a> <a href="https://t.co/qLtI17xonn">pic.twitter.com/qLtI17xonn</a>—@arielle_zerr
Regina's event is taking place on Friday afternoon at Evraz Place.
Moose Jaw will host an event at Holy Family Cathedral Hall on Monday.