Unreserved serves up an eclectic mix of ceremonies, awards and music

The wearing of long skirts by women in indigenous ceremonies is a common practice among those who live traditionally. Some say the skirt forces a gender role on women.
Josie Kipling holds an eagle feather considered sacred during a pipe ceremony. (Canadian Press/Michelle Siu)

The wearing of long skirts by women in Indigenous ceremonies is a common practice among those who live traditionally. The brightly coloured ribbon skirts are worn during spiritual activities like sweat lodges or pipe ceremonies.

For those who follow this teaching, the skirt represents feminine power, balance and connection to Mother Earth. But as we see more indigenous cultures being shared in public spaces, so too do we hear controversy around the skirt.

Some say the skirt forces a gender role on women and has no place in today's world.

Others say colonization has turned tradition into a way to control women's bodies instead of empowering them.
In Manitoba, the debate was sparked after the University of Winnipeg hosted a gathering where a traditional pipe ceremony was held.

In the event invitation women were asked to wear long skirts by the elder conducting the ceremony.

Find out what happened next on this week's Unreserved

Also on Unreserved

A new program in Winnipeg hopes to build bonds between biological and foster families as a way to break the hold of the child welfare system. 

From high rates of kids in care to accusations of under-funding, the Child and Family Services (CFS) system is under heavy scrutiny. Community Led Organizations United Together (CLOUT) hopes to change that.

Claudette Okemow holds up a handwritten thank-you card from one of the mothers who went through CLOUT’s program. (Nikki Wiart/CBC)
Find out why women are gathering in the middle of one of Canada's biggest cities to learn an ancient skill.

Tanning hides in the traditional way is a long and messy process. But a group of women in Toronto have been gathering every Saturday to learn the process. For the dozen or so women who take part, it's a chance to learn what their great-grandmothers did before them.

And Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price won more than trophies at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas this week. He also won the hearts of many when he used his stage time to lift up the spirits of First Nations youth.

Plus: We'll hear music from this year's nominations at the Indigenous Music Awards, with tracks from Indian City, Cody Coyote, Black Bear, and Kelly Jackson.

Tune into CBC Radio One after the 5 p.m. news in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nunavut, and after the 4 p.m. news in Yukon and the N.W.T. for these stories and more on Unreserved

You can also listen on demand right here.


Rosanna Deerchild is the host of Unreserved on CBC Radio One. She's an award-winning Cree author and has been a broadcaster for almost 20 years — including stints with APTN, CBC Radio, Global and a variety of indigenous newspapers. She hails from O-Pipon-Na-Piwan Cree Nation, Man.